Skip to content

Hertfordshire County Council

Drain cleaning

We empty, clean and maintain around 188,000 drains on public roads. We sometimes call these "gullies".

We monitor drains to find out how often we need to empty and clean them.

We empty and clean drains every 6, 12, 18 or 24 months, depending on factors like the type of road or whether someone’s reported a problem.

If we can’t empty a drain, we’ll schedule another visit.

When we can't empty a drain

In some cases, we're unable to empty and clean drains. For instance, where:

  • the drain is blocked or collapsed
  • the drain lid is stuck, broken or damaged
  • vehicles are parked over the drain 
  • the road is too narrow or busy for us to work safely.

In these situations, further follow-on works are scheduled.

  • Blocked drains – will be cleared within 12 months of being reported / identified.
  • Collapsed drains and stuck, broken or damaged drain lids – we'll aim to rebuild, replace or repair within 18 to 24 months of being reported / identified.

If a temporary road closure is needed to safely access a drain, we'll normally take around 1 hour. We'll also try to prevent vehicles parking on the spot. We'll aim to get this arranged within 18 to 24 months of being reported / identified. We may also work with borough and district councils so they can sweep the roads at the same time.


Find a drain on our map and click / tap it to check:

  • when we last visited the drain
  • when the next routine visit is.

Drainage works undertaken thanks to extra funding

Rate this page