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Flooding is a natural event, and no drainage or flood protection system can give absolute protection. Flooding occurs in different ways, such as heavy rainfall, causing rivers and streams to fill beyond capacity, and with nowhere else to go the floodwaters spread into the surrounding land.

Flash flooding can occur when thunderstorms or heavy rain falls over a short period of time, the ground cannot absorb this amount of water quickly enough, drainage systems are overwhelmed and flooding occurs. This flooding is normally short-lived and often there is very little notice.

Within Wiltshire there are areas where the substructure of the land is made up of different layers of rock. These layers of rock hold water and are called aquifers. If it rains continuously for a long period of time these discharge the excess water into streams, rivers and springs, causing groundwater flooding. This type of flooding can occur days or weeks after the rain incident, and is predicted by measuring groundwater levels.

Flood warning system

GOV.UK: Environment Agency (opens new window) is able to issue warnings several hours in advance of the possibility of river flooding, using their automatic flood warning systems and also by radio and TV messages. The automated telephone or fax warning system is available to householders whose property has been flooded in the past.

They are also able to provide warning messages about flooding from ground water in some areas. To find out which services are available in your area, or for the latest information on river and coastal flooding, contact Floodline on 0845 988 1188 or via GOV.UK: Environment Agency (opens new window).

Check for flooding in your area, and sign-up for warnings by phone, text, or email:

GOV.UK: Check for flooding in England (opens new window)

Flood warning notices

Frequently asked questions 

Section 19 Reports

Section 19 - West Wilts area (PDF) [516KB] (opens new window)

Section 19 - Hill Street, Trowbridge (PDF) [459KB] (opens new window)

Section 19 - Court Lane, Corsley (PDF) [104KB] (opens new window)

Section 19 - Castle Street Bridge Salisbury (PDF) [106KB] (opens new window)

Section 19 - Granary Close, Amesbury (PDF) [168KB] (opens new window)

Section 19 - High Street, Amesbury (PDF) [138KB] (opens new window)

Section 19 - Tisbury October 2021 (OpenDocument text format) [31KB] (opens new window)

Section 19 - Donhead St Andrew October 2021 (OpenDocument text format) [32KB] (opens new window)

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