Skip to main content Skip to accessibility
  Non-Javascript users can confirm they have successfully signed out of MyAccount by clicking here

What does the council do to prepare for flooding?

Rochdale borough has experienced several flooding events in the past so we're actively trying to reduce the risk of flooding in the borough. 

What's the council doing to prepare for floods?

We help prepare for and reduce the risk of flooding by:

  • Receiving regular alerts from the Met Office so we know if a flood is likely.
  • Planning and participating in Greater Manchester multi-agency exercises to ensure we're prepared for flooding emergencies.
  • Planting trees across the borough which act as a natural defence against floods because tree roots help soak up water and soil absorbs 40% more water than grass.
  • Re-building the River Roch bridge in Rochdale town centre so it can now take a higher water level before flooding. Find out more about the revealing the Roch project
  • Ensuring that roads are kept clear of rainwater by regularly checking and cleaning gullies, drains and kerb offlets.
  • Working with the Environment Agency to increase flood water storage, improve flood defences and reduce flood risk from our watercourses, including the River Roch, Townhouse Brook and Calder Brook.

Help for landowners who want to help us reduce flood risk - slow the flow

We want to work with landowners to help reduce the risk of flooding in Littleborough and Rochdale through encouraging measures like planting trees, water features, dams and walls.

We're working with the Environment Agency and the National Flood Forum and want to talk to owners of land that's close to or drains into the River Roch and its tributary streams. This scheme is designed to reduce the rate at which water gets into the river by natural flood management.

If you've land that would be suitable, please contact us to discuss opportunities and how we can help make them happen. Email

What's the council responsible for when it floods? 

As the lead local flood authority, when there's a local flood we're responsible for:

  • Removing water from public roads and footpaths.
  • Ensuring public roads and footpaths are safe to be used following a flood, including moving debris.
  • Investigating and publishing reports on significant floods.
  • Ensuring new buildings are built with correct drains which don't increase the risks of floods.
  • Managing road drainage.
  • Setting up an evacuation centre if there's severe flooding.
  • Constructing a temporary flood barrier, when necessary.
  • Closing roads we think are too unsafe to use during a flood.

What's the council not responsible for when it floods?

When there's flooding, we're not responsible for:

  • Protecting private households and properties from flooding.
  • Providing residents with sand bags.
  • Managing the flood risk from canals and lakes. The Environmental Agency is responsible for this.
  • Managing flood risks from burst water mains or sewers. United Utilities is responsible for this.
  • Managing and draining water on the M62 motorway. The Highways Agency is responsible for this.