Preparing for possible flooding of the Caterham Bourne

Webmaster General News

Tandridge District Council and the Environment Agency are putting steps in place to deal with possible flooding of the Caterham Bourne, a groundwater fed river which flows through Whyteleafe from Wapses Lodge across into Croydon at Kenley.

Work is taking place to protect homes in Godstone Road (near the Shell garage), which involves building sandbag walls. The Environment Agency is also installing additional pipework in the rear gardens of homes in Downsway, to make sure the watercourse runs freely. Trash screens, which collect debris along the watercourse, are also being regularly cleared.

In addition, the gates on the ponds (lagoons) along Woldingham Road are being closed, when needed, to relieve the pressure on the water flow in the Bourne. The water will collect in the ponds and will be released slowly back into the Bourne when necessary.

These works will only reduce flooding caused by the Bourne, it won’t reduce surface water flooding. Surrey County Council has been clearing drains and road gullies to make sure they are not blocked, but any significant heavy rainfall will increase the risk of surface water flooding. Thames Water is carrying out work to reduce the risk of sewer flooding.

If you’re affected by flooding, we’ll help where we can, but we need to prioritise help for our council housing and properties with vulnerable residents. We will try to provide sandbags for properties where water is about to enter the property. Where groundwater is coming up through the floor, sandbags won’t help solve the issue.

If you think you are at risk of flooding please start to prepare. Check flood warnings by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188, which provides recorded flood information and provides advice from an operator 24 hours a day, or visit

If your property is flooded, or at risk of becoming flooded, you should:

  • Turn off your gas, electricity and water supplies at the mains.
  • Unplug all electrical items and storing them, along with all furniture and valuables, upstairs or as high up as possible.
  • Keep any medicine you might need with you.
  • Make sure you have your insurance details.
  • Stay with a nearby friend or family member, if you can.If you know of vulnerable neighbours, please help by offering them assistance.

We are updating with the latest information. Surrey County Council also has flooding advice on its website. For highways emergencies call 0300 200 1003 (24 hours). You can sign up for flood warnings on the website.

WebmasterPreparing for possible flooding of the Caterham Bourne