Types of water management features

Embankments / Flood wall

These are earth banks that can be used to control the flow of water into safe areas or away from valuable areas e.g. residential areas

These can vary in height from 0.5m to 1.5m


A swale is a shallow, broad channel that is designed to store/direct flood waters.


Basins are dry areas that can hold flood water. The ponds temporarily hold the water and then release it into the existing system over a longer period.

The majority of these will be “green” and designed to fit within the landscape. In some cases the earth removed to create the pond will be moved to build an embankment.

Pond holds water all the time and has capacity to hold flood water in emergencies. Some sites will be ponds to provide a home for local nature e.g. newts are Cold Ash.


Concrete pipes designed to manage the flow of water to specific areas e.g. a pond. The width of the pipe determines the capacity of the watercourse. if the pipe is too small then water will back up further upstream and risk flooding those areas.

Highway drains

The drains provide a pre-built way to safely direct water in a controlled way.

Surface water sewers

These carry surface water away from valuable areas