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Drainage and gullies

Find out how you can report problems with any drainage system here.

Highway drainage needs routine maintenance. This is to make sure they do not become blocked and to find any damage.

With new roads, the drainage systems are designed to remove the water from the highway. Many older roads have less complex systems, but all have features designed to take the water away, like:

  • Culverts;
  • ditches;
  • catch pits;
  • and soak-aways.

There are hundreds of thousands of gullies across Calderdale. These are emptied and cleaned as part of our yearly maintenance programme.

It is possible for drainage systems to become blocked even with regular maintenance:

  • Heavy rainfall can overload a system.
  • Mud and leaves can cause blockages.
  • Covers can become damaged.

Gully requests

We follow a risk-based approach to gully cleansing. This is in line with the 'Well-managed Highway Infrastructure 2016' Code of Practice for Highways Authorities. This is how we handle requests:

  1. How we assess requests

    We assess cleansing requests based on factors like:

    • flood risk;
    • pictorial evidence or site visits;
    • date of next cyclic cleanse;
    • date of last visit;
    • and last recorded silt level.
  2. Response times

    For low-risk situations without immediate flooding or obstruction to the highway, cleansing may be delayed until the next cyclic visit. We cannot give specific dates as the work schedule can be affected by the weather and emergencies.

    For medium-risk situations, we aim to address them within the next 28 working days. Although, this can be affected by unexpected events.

    In high-risk cases, our gully wagon is dispatched within 7 working days.

    In very high-risk situations with imminent flooding or danger on the highway, we respond within 24 hours.

  3. Access challenges

    During ad-hoc or planned visits our teams often face obstacles, such as parked cars that obstruct access. If they cannot complete the cleanse, they leave a card on the vehicle(s). They will return as soon as possible to try again.

  4. Communication policy

    Due to the high volume of requests, we are not able to call customers back. We can only call if we need more details to complete the work.

We strive to make sure that the cleaning of gullies is timely and effective.

We hope this information is helpful.

Report it online

If you notice a problem with a drainage system, please report it:

Request gully cleansing

Report flooding on the road

Report damaged or missing manhole cover


In heavy rain, we work closely with the Environment Agency. This is to monitor and respond to highway drainage problems guided by the: Flood warnings.

Sirens are installed to warn of flooding across the Upper Calder Valley.

For the status of the main river in Calderdale:

For more about this, also see: Flooding or Emergencies.

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