Utility outages and blockages

If you have a power cut, call 105 to contact your electricity network operator.

Power cut

When there is a power cut, many people are unsure of who to call. 105 solves this problem, providing you with an easy to- remember number that will put you through to your local electricity network operator - the company that manages the cables, wires and substations that bring electricity into local homes and businesses. Find out more on the Power Cut 105 website.

How to prepare for a power cut

  • Keep a torch handy - it's much safer than using candles.
  • Get a battery-powered or wind-up radio (useful for keeping up to date with relevant local news).
  • Keep warm - keep a blanket and warm clothing handy, and fill a vacuum flask or hot water bottle.
  • Stock your cupboard with food and drink that doesn't require electricity to prepare it.
  • Keep your mobile phone and laptop fully charged.
  • Check your network operator's website or social media channels for updates.

During a power cut

  • Switch off all electrical appliances that shouldn't be left unattended, ready for when the power comes back on.
  • Leave a light on so you know when the power cut has been resolved.
  • Check to see if your neighbours are okay.
  • Wrap up warm.
  • Contact your electricity network operator to report the power cut, either by calling 105.

Using phones during a power cut

Cordless phones probably won't work during a power cut. They take their power from the mains and most don't have battery back-up. Traditional corded phones will work - you might want to keep one handy so you can plug it in and make phone calls if you have a power cut. In most cases, mobile phones will work if they are charged.

Priority Services Register

The Priority Services Register is for people who might need extra support during a power cut; for example, people who need electricity for vital medical equipment. If you are on the Register and you have a power cut, you should continue to call the phone number that you have been given when you signed up.  

Sewage flooding and blockages

Sewage flooding can occur during a flood and is a health hazard. Sewers and drains can also become blocked at any time.

Sewage flooding

Intense rainfall can cause sewage flooding, if the flood water finds its way into the sewers. Flood water can then become contaminated with sewage, which is hazardous to health and should be managed carefully.

Contact your GP immediately or call NHS 111 if you have diarrhoea or vomiting after a flood.

Following basic hygiene procedures can help reduce the health risk from sewage flooding:

  • Wash hands and disinfect footwear after any contact with the sewage.
  • Keep children and pets out of any area affected by sewage flooding.
  • Whilst cleaning up after flooding, protect cuts and grazes with waterproof dressings and wear protective clothing such as rubber gloves.
  • Don't eat any fruit or vegetables growing in the garden if it has flooded, and don't plant any more for at least six months after sewer flooding. In the six months after this period you can plant new crops, provided that you don't harvest them for at least two months.

Blockages

Thames Water is responsible for maintaining, repairing and clearing sewers and drains. If you suspect that a sewer or drain is blocked, call Thames Water on 0845 9200 800 who will clear the blockage free of charge. If the blockage is not Thames Water's responsibility, they will advise at the time.

If there is a blocked gully in the road, please contact Surrey County Council (Highways).

If there is a blockage at a property that you are renting, you should contact Thames Water as well as informing your landlord as soon as possible. A blockage inside a property is the responsibility of the owner/occupier. In a private block of flats it is normally the managing company's responsibility.

Blockage on neighbouring property

If you suspect a blockage on your neighbour's property, advise them to contact Thames Water on 0800 316 9800. If a neighbour is refusing to remove a blockage, you can ask for our engineering team to investigate the issue. They can be contacted by emailing engineering.enquiries@runnymede.gov.uk. If necessary, we can serve a legal notice on the property owner or occupier requiring the unblocking of the drain or sewer.

Maintenance

Drains and sewers are generally designed to be self-cleaning, however careful maintenance is still important.

Do

  • Periodically examine the system to identify any necessary repairs, paying particular attention to manholes.
  • Check for water overflowing from gullies or manhole covers.
  • Clear any blockages, including partial blockages.

Don't

  • Damage drains and obstruct access to manhole covers.
  • Put potentially blocking items down the toilet, such as nappies.
  • Pour cooking fat or oil into the sink or drains, as it will solidify and cause blockages.