Sandbag policy

Where properties are in imminent danger of flooding from rivers, watercourses and run-off from roads, Coventry City Council responds by delivering sandbags to affected residents as a temporary defence to prevent floodwater entering living accommodation. This is not a statutory function of the City Council and, as resources are limited, it is important to ensure that sandbags are delivered to those who need them most. The policy below has been drafted to inform the public of how the decision to deploy sandbags will be taken.

Provision of sandbags for emergency flood prevention requests

Sandbags will be provided on the following basis:

  • The resident should ring us and request sandbags
  • The property, i.e. the living accommodation has suffered from previous flooding according to our records, or be in imminent danger of flooding at the time of the call
  • We will not deliver sandbags to residents on the basis of the threat of rain or the threat of flooding, for example where the flood water is at the bottom of their garden
  • For these purposes, 'living accommodation' means to domestic dwellings but NOT gardens, outbuildings such as sheds, garages etc
  • It is expected that residents who are riparian owners, i.e. those property owners whose frontage abuts a watercourse, or who live very close to watercourses will take some preventative measures, e.g. keep a stock of sandbags themselves.


  • In working hours officers from the Highways Technical Flood and Drainage Team will make assessment of the requests and where circumstances meet the above criteria, issue instructions to the Operations Team to deliver the sandbags
  • Out of normal working hours the Emergency Service Unit will pass the request to the Highways duty officer who will decide if it meets the criteria
  • Requests that do not meet the criteria, for example, where a resident believes he will be flooded because heavy rain is forecast, will not be attended to.


  • Highway Operations shall deliver sandbags to the customer and if appropriate will assist with the building of the sandbag wall. This will normally be where the customer is unable to do this on their own
  • Each request will be considered on a case by case basis and it will be the judgement of the officer delivering the sandbags of how many will be required. The officer will need to apply a test of reasonableness so that all the sandbags are not used up on a few properties.


  •  Sandbags can be collected and disposed of by us following confirmation by the resident that the sandbags have been contaminated by flood water.
  • Sandbags which have not been contaminated should be stored by the resident for future use.

Further guidance

However, residents who are aware that their homes are at a high risk of flooding, e.g. as a result of the  close proximity of a watercourse, should obtain sandbags from a builders' merchant to enable early preparation, as at times of flooding our contractor may not be able to reach all properties before flooding occurs.

Excludes business premises (or non-domestic).

Flood Risk Management Officer

Open 9am–5pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays)

Address: 259 London Road
Whitley Depot

Telephone: 08085 834333