Road gullies and drains

We are responsible for gullies and gully grids (the metal gratings in the gutter) on adopted roads in Cheshire East and on land we own. Gullies are small chambers that form the top part of the surface water drainage system. Rain water from the road surface flows through the gratings into the gullies and then into the underground drainage system.

Where gullies are linked to underground drains and sewers that form part of the main drainage network, United Utilities are usually responsible for any issues with the drains and sewers. This is typically the case in urban areas.

Where water from the gullies flows through to roadside ditches, soakaways or watercourses, we are usually responsible for any issues. This tends to be the case in rural areas.

On private land, gullies and drains are the responsibility of the owner of the land. 

Report a gully or drain issue

You can report a blocked gully or drain or other gully or drain issue online.

Where there is a flooding emergency or danger to life, call 999.

Before you report a gully or drain issue

If there has been heavy rain, it is worth waiting a little while before you report a gully blockage unless flooding is causing a danger to road users. Gullies vary in the speed at which they can drain water away. Some will overflow during periods of heavy rain even though there is no blockage. The water will clear when the rain stops.

Report a gully or drain issue

After you report a gully or drain issue

When we get reports of blocked gulleys and drains, we check the situation and assess what action to take. We prioritise clearing blockages that directly affect property or present a danger to road users. Where there is an issue with utility company infrastructure, we pass the information to the utility company concerned. 

Gully maintenance 

We keep road gullies clear and in good repair through an ongoing maintenance programme (PDF, 26KB). In addition to this programme, we are also attending to some gullies in areas to the north of the borough on a priority basis, in response to the recent flood event. Find out more about our flood recovery process

We clear A and B road gullies up to 3 or 4 times a year. For other roads, gully emptying will be less often and may not take place routinely.

We prioritise gully emptying work according to a number of factors including:

  • the nature of the road 
  • the likely flood risk
  • whether the lid is jammed, broken or missing
  • whether the connection to the main drain is blocked
  • the level of detritus found during our previous visit
Our Clear and Cleanse programme covers both gulley clearing and street cleaning for narrower streets in town centres that can be hard to access. We ask residents and drivers not to park on the street on the day of the work. This leaves the streets clear so we can empty the gullies and ANSA (our environmental services company) can bring in mechanical street sweepers. The work is important because it stops weeds growing and stops gullies getting blocked.

We set up advance warning signs in the street 2 days before each Clear and Cleanse day and put postcards through the doors of properties on the street concerned.

The work usually takes place between 8.30am and 4.00pm. As soon as the work is done, we remove the signs and people can park again. 

Contact us

Report a problem online

If you consider a highways issue to be dangerous, or an emergency, please call us on:

0300 123 5020
(8:30am – 5:00pm)

0300 123 5025
(after 5pm and before 8:30am, including weekends)

Highways
Floor 6
Delamere House

Delamere Street Crewe
Cheshire
CW1 2LL

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