London borough installs gully sensors to build flood resilience

The sensors provide real-time data alerting the council to potentially problematic drains.

Redbridge Council has invested in nearly 100 gully sensors, which have been installed in flood prone parts of the borough to create a smart drainage system that monitors gully drains for blockages. It can also instantly detect sharp rises in water and silt levels within highway drains.

The use of ‘smart’ gully sensors is the first of its kind in Redbridge and has been funded by the Council, working with Map16 to deliver the project.

Providing regular real time data and alerts to identify potential problem drains the sensors enable the council to react quickly to blockages or rising water levels, helping to reduce the risk of flooding from drains.

The sensors can also be easily moved to different locations enabling extensive coverage of the borough and are especially useful ahead of severe weather warnings, acting as an early warning system, so that the council can proactively identify and clear blocked drains that may otherwise overflow during heavy rainfall.

Three river sensors have been installed on the Seven Kings Water River, which flows through Westwood Recreation Ground, to monitor the height of the river in various places. The sensors send alerts to the council if the river rises to certain heights within Westwood Recreation Ground and further up the river to allow for a proactive flood response.

Cabinet Member for Environment and Civic Pride, Cllr Jo Blackman, said: “Redbridge is seeing the effects of climate change with more frequent bouts of flooding from torrential rain. To help reduce the impact of flash floods in our local communities we are investing in a wide range of flood alleviation measures, including the use of gully sensors. The sensors are a great example of the innovative ways in which we are working to help reduce flood risks in the most impacted parts of the borough.”

Following flooding incidents that have affected local neighbourhoods, the council is investing in flood alleviations schemes, as well as working in partnership with other agencies to tackle flooding.

To raise awareness of the works the Council is running a series of roadshows for local people to find out more about the wide range of flood alleviation schemes being implemented, including in flood prone parts of the borough to help protect local homes.

The community-based Flood Awareness Roadshows take place throughout June and the first week of July.

During the interactive roadshows, the Council’s Highways Team and partner organisations, including the Environment Agency and Thames Water, will also be on hand to offer information and advice on how local people can protect their home from flooding, including demonstrations of anti-flooding devices.

Flood Awareness Roadshows:

No booking is required, simply turn up to any of the listed roadshows below




Tuesday 6 June 5pm-7.30pm

Westwood Recreation Ground, IG3 8SE

Tuesday 13 June 5pm-7.30pm

Outside Fullwell Cross Leisure Centre, G6 1PP

Tuesday 20 June 5pm-7.30pm

Christchurch Green by Woodbine Place, E11 2RH

Tuesday 27 June 5pm-7.30pm

Snakes Lane West, opposite Woodford Station, IG8 0HL

Tuesday 4 July 5pm-7.30pm

Atherton Road, junction with Roundaway Road, IG5 0PQ

Head to Redbridge Council’s dedicated flood information web page for further advice and information:

To report a blocked drain or flooding go to: