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Flood Risk Management Consultancy

Sweco’s flood risk management consultants bring together significant combined experience in hydrology, network and fluvial modelling, field survey, geomorphology, natural processes, ecology, design and economic assessments to help our customers address contemporary flood risk management challenges.

Unrivalled flood protection solutions

Our experts can support you through all stages of flood protection and Surface Water Resources Management Schemes to satisfy their compliance obligations and ultimately protect people and communities. We develop strategies to increase climate change resilience for existing flood defence assets including, but not limited to, the use of Natural Flood Management.

Sweco promotes innovative solutions that work with natural processes, optimising sustainability and multiple benefits and ensuring that interventions are flexible enough to respond to our evolving understanding of climate change and future land use. In urban areas these solutions include retrofitting of surface water systems and sustainable drainage – creating new habitat, biodiversity, water treatment, flood attenuation and amenity.

Where necessary, Sweco can mobilise an exceptionally wide range of in-house skills and experience to produce traditional solutions, such as flood walls, bunds and underground drainage assets.

Our Flood Risk Assessment and network modelling teams cover a wide range of diverse projects. We have significant expertise in the areas of sewerage, river, surface and groundwater modelling and management and have developed strategies and action plans for our clients as they look for more innovative, integrated long term solutions to the challenges of flooding, drainage and water management.

How we can help

The impact of flooding on infrastructure and communities is often well publicised and understood. However, the same is not true for the possible causes of flooding as these are often difficult to identify, complex, and challenging to understand.

Whilst it may seem obvious in some situations (e.g flooding from the river or drainage system), the magnitude and underlying flood mechanisms change with time. There are many variables to consider, all of which influence the conveyance of water and can result in a situation that requires specialised technical expertise to investigate.

Problem Investigation

  • Flood incident and problem investigation of both property and infrastructure flood risk
  • Culvert investigation, assessment and design
  • Hydraulic analysis of open channels and hydraulic structures such as culverts using both simplified assessment and hydraulic modelling
  • Site reconnaissance including utility investigation, topographical surveys and geotechnical investigation


  • Business cases for funding applications
  • Natural flood management and river restoration
  • Flood compensation
  • Containment works – floodwalls and embankments
  • Hydraulic controls such as orifice plates, hydro-brakes, flap valves, penstocks and sluice gates
  • Attenuation – online/offline storage reservoirs
  • Exceedance flow management with controlled overtopping, flood relief and discharge
  • High capacity drainage to manage overland flow routes
  • Pumping stations


  • Permit consent and approval applications including: Town and county planning, Ordinary Watercourse Consent, Controlled Activities Regulations and Flood Risk Activities Permit (FRAP)
  • Site supervision and office based design support

Asset Management

  • Flood defence asset condition surveys and remedial works design
  • Maintenance and management plans
  • Public safety risk assessments

Culverts, Screens & Outfalls support

The main function of a culvert is to convey surface water or a watercourse beneath a structure or below ground. Structurally this could take many forms from pipes, integral box units, to arch culverts formed of single or multiple barrels in simple or complex arrangements. Whilst the hydraulic performance of a culvert is important to manage flood risk, culverts also convey sediment, debris and wildlife.

Whether new or existing, it is important that the performance of a culvert is appropriate for the location and environmental setting to avoid detriment to property/infrastructure and the natural environment.

At Sweco, we have the multi-disciplinary expertise and extensive water management knowhow to help you address any culvert, screen or outfall challenge.

Together with our clients and the collective knowledge of our 21,000 engineers, consultants and other specialists, we co-create solutions to address urbanisation, capture the power of digitalisation, and make our societies more sustainable.​ With international multi-disciplinary teams, we can call on the right insight and technical capability at the right time from across Buildings, Infrastructure, Advisory & Planning and Compliance.​