Who is responsible for water quality in Buckinghamshire

Buckinghamshire Council do not have any statutory responsibility for water quality, but we often get questions around this. Below you can find information on who is responsible for regulating water quality and who to contact regarding issues such as pollution incidents, spillages on highways and misconnections.

The Environment Agency

The Environment Agency is responsible for regulating water quality in rivers and chalk streams and managing water pollution incidents. The Environment Agency can investigate and carry out enforcement action against companies and businesses that cause water pollution.

If there is a pollution incident in a watercourse it should be reported to the Environment Agency via their incident hotline on 0800 80 70 06.

For more information, see the Environment Agency website.

Thames Water

Thames Water own, maintain, and repair public sewers under roads and footpaths. They are also responsible for any sewers that you share with your neighbours, even if they are under your garden or driveway.

If your home is currently affected by sewer flooding, call Thames Water on 0800 316 9800.

Anglian Water

Anglian Water is responsible for all sewers apart from those on your property unless the pipes are shared with your neighbours. They are also responsible for some surface water pipes, which take rainwater away from your home. You are responsible for any sewers on your property that only serve your property.

You can report sewer flooding on Anglian Water’s website or call Anglian Water on 03457 145 145.

Buckinghamshire Highways

Buckinghamshire Highways are responsible for cleaning up any chemical, fuel and oil spillages that occur on the roads.

You can report any spillages online via FixMyStreet and a member of the team will respond.

Riparian Landowners

Private landowners whose land has a watercourse running through or adjacent to it are ‘riparian owners’. This means they are responsible for maintaining their banks and keeping it free of pollution and any debris that could wash downstream.

For more information, see our dedicated page about maintaining a river or stream you own.