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Information on main river (major watercourse) and ordinary watercourses

Major watercourses and rivers such as the River Chelmer or Heybridge Creek are designated "main rivers".  These are under the control of the Environment Agency and the Agency is the relevant Operating Authority.  Environmental Health at Maldon District Council can advise you which are the main rivers in Maldon District, but all enquiries relating to the operation of main rivers should be referred to the Environment Agency.  Almost all other watercourses, including streams, ditches (whether dry or not), ponds, culverts, drains, pipes and any other passage through which water may flow, are defined as "ordinary watercourses."  In the case of ordinary watercourses, the District Council is the Operating Authority.  Exceptions are:

1) "Public surface water sewers" which are the responsibility of the sewerage undertaker, Anglian Water.

2) "Highway drains" which drain public highways only and are maintained by the Highways Authority at Essex County Council.