Stanstead Abbotts Drain Information Page

Closes 1 Jun 2024

Opened 19 Oct 2022


Last updated on 15 September 2023

We have created this information page to keep residents informed of current and future developments to the Stanstead Abbotts Drain. We will be updating this page as the project progresses.

Flood risk in Stanstead Abbotts

Stanstead Abbotts has a history of flooding.  Most notably in the winter 2013/14, the community experienced extreme weather resulting in significant flooding from the Stanstead Abbotts Drain and surface water.  Several properties were flooded internally.

Flooding was exacerbated by large amounts of debris collecting on the trash screen underneath Roydon Road. High rainfall and debris caused the river to overflow. 

Surface water flooding was also exacerbated by this event as well as the high level of rainfall in the area which meant the highway network was not able to cope, allowing water to follow the natural topography in the area to low spots and spill over onto properties.

What are the Environment Agency and Hertfordshire County Council proposing?

To reduce the impact of flooding, the Environment Agency, in partnership with Hertfordshire County Council, are offering eligible residents the opportunity to receive up to £8,000 towards the installation of Property Flood Resilience measures at their home.

The Environment Agency are also investigating Natural Flood Management opportunities on the upper reaches of Stanstead Abbotts Drain.

What is property flood resilience (PFR)?

PFR is a combination of products installed at your property to make it more resilient to flooding. PFR is tailored to each individual property.

Examples of PFR products include:

  • Flood doors or barriers to reduce the amount of water entering your property.
  • Automatic closing airbricks which close to prevent water from entering the property.
  • Non-return valves fitted to pipes which exit the property, ensuring wastewater only flows in one direction and prevents backflow.
  • Wall defence such as water sealants, re-pointing and rendering.
  • Pumps to remove water.

PFR products offer an alternative and more permanent means for homeowners to manage their flood risk, without having to rely on sandbags. They are cost-effective and easy to implement, providing peace of mind and helping to reduce the stress and damage that flooding causes.

For further information on PFR you can visit

PFR grant eligibility

The Environment Agency in partnership with Hertfordshire County Council will be inviting eligible residents to apply for a PFR grant of up to £8,000 to cover the costs of PFR products and installation.

To be eligible your property must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Be at ‘Significant’ or greater risk of flooding from Stanstead Abbotts Drain or suffered from internal flooding within the last 10 years
  • Be at ‘Significant’ or greater surface water flood risk, suffered from internal flooding within the last 10 years or have externally flooded whilst sharing a party wall of an internally flooded property within the last 10 years.

How will the scheme work?

  1. Eligible residents are invited to complete an application form to register for a free initial PFR property survey. Applications close on Sunday 5th November 2023
  2. The Environment Agency will appoint a surveyor to attend your property on an agreed date and confirm if your property is suitable for PFR and which products are recommended. You will receive a copy of a report
  3. Should you wish to proceed, the Environment Agency will appoint a supplier to install your chosen products. The Environment Agency will pay up to £8,000 towards these costs
  4. Once installed, a post installation survey will be carried out to ensure the PFR products have been installed correctly

How do I find out more?

For more detailed information on the PFR process you can download the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ document below.

How do I apply?

You can apply for your free initial PFR survey in any of the ways listed below.

  • Submit an application form online by visiting the following website:
  • Complete and returning a copy of the application form by post or email
  • Complete an application form which will be made available at the community drop-in

To request a copy of the application form or for any queries please email call 020 8474 7306.

Building your flood resilience

You can take steps now to better prepare yourself for flooding and make your home more resilient   Being resilient means you are more in control. It reduces the time spent out of the house because of flooding, and the stress and upheaval of being away from your home, work and community.

Natural Flood Management

To complement the PFR proposals, the Environment Agency are also exploring opportunities to implement Natural Flood Management (NFM) Measures in the upper reaches of the Stanstead Abbotts Drain.

NFM involves working with nature to reduce the risk of flooding, using techniques to restore the natural functions of rivers, floodplains and the wider catchment. It aims to store water in the upper catchment and slow the rate at which water runs into rivers to help reduce flooding downstream.

Maintenance of Stanstead Abbotts Drain

The Environment Agency have been actively reviewing the current maintenance regime to identify any changes that may help reduce the risk of flooding. The Environment agency plan to double the frequency of watercourse maintenance on the Stanstead Abbotts Drain. Subject to funding availability, the increase will be effective from the 2024/25 financial year onwards.

The Environment Agency will continue weekly planned visits to inspect and clear the Stanstead Abbotts Drain trash screen.

Incident Response

The Environment Agency operates 24/7 incident response to monitor and attend the area for flood risk management when required. This includes remote monitoring of the Stanstead Abbotts Drain trash screen via CCTV.

In the event of a blockage in the watercourse or immediate flood risk please notify the Environment agency using the Environment Agency incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.

Give us your views

This is an information page only and is not being used for online consultation

For more information about this project, please contact

You can also find out more about PFR on the National Flood Forum’s website


  • Members of the public
  • Elected representatives, including MPs
  • Local councils
  • Environment Agency customers


  • Flood management