Flooding advice from Wiltshire Council

Wiltshire Council has issued the following advice this morning:


As you have seen on news reports the poor weather has been causing some flooding issues throughout the county, predominantly in the north. With the forecast predicting further rain as well as strong gusts of winds tonight and over the weekend, and with the increased threat of groundwater flooding in chalk catchment areas, it is advisable to familiarise yourself with the council sandbag policy.Sandbags

If your property is in imminent danger of flooding please telephone 0800 232323 or out of hours call 01722 413834 to request assistance.

Please note sandbags will only be provided in response to emergency situations. You cannot collect sandbags from any of our depots.

If you require sandbags as a precautionary measure you will need to make your own arrangements to purchase them from local suppliers.

Wiltshire Council has in place an Emergency Management Plan and will respond to flooding events. We do not have a statutory duty to provide sandbags, but experience shows that the community expects the council to help if flooding is imminent. It is important that we handle enquiries sympathetically but in accordance with the following principles:

  • We will maintain a stock of sandbags at depots across Wiltshire with a minimum of 500 bags at each storage location.
  • We will supply sandbags free of charge on a “needs” basis in response to flooding emergencies.
  • We will not supply sandbags in advance based on forecasts.
  • If requests for supply or delivery are received during an emergency situation, we will consider them sympathetically on a case-by-case basis according to apparent vulnerability.
  • We will encourage property owners in known flood areas to adopt a “self help” approach and prepare in advance and respond to forecasts or flood warnings. We will encourage people making enquiries for
  • sandbags at these stages to look to local suppliers such as builders merchants where they can purchase them or possibly have them delivered. This will help to preserve our stocks for emergency response.
  • The Environment Agency promotes self-help schemes and we will refer people to their website.
  • Once issued to householders the disposal of contaminated sandbags following a flooding event will not be the responsibility of Wiltshire Council. Information can be provided on the most appropriate method of disposal but once issued the sandbags become the property of the occupier or organisation.



  1. We have limited supplies of sandbags and these can disappear quite quickly if we supply too soon.
  2. We try and time it right but flooding is notoriously difficult to predict with any degree of accuracy.
  3. Builders Merchants / sandbag supplier details for the various areas – see Builders Merchants in yellow pages or carry out a search on the internet.
  4. Visit National Flood Forum for helpful advice www.floodforum.org.uk and supplier information from www.blupages.org.uk
  5. The Environment Agency website is www.environment-agency.gov.uk
  6. Wiltshire Council Flooding Website www.wiltshire.gov.uk/communityandliving/civilemergencies/floodinganddrainage.htm

Community Resilience

Parishes that hold Community Emergency Plans which may incorporate specific flood related information should ensure that these plans are current and up to date.

Also remember that flood water holds hidden dangers such as lifted drain covers, pollution, trip hazards etc and that fast flowing water can easily lift a person off their feet.

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