Street drains will be cleaned three times more often in a bid to end the city’s surface water flooding problem.

Brighton and Hove City Council will clear the gullies twice a year in areas prone to flooding, rather than every 18 months as before.

There are 22,782 gullies in the area which drain surface water from the roads and pavements, most of which runs into the sewers.

But if they are blocked it can cause sudden and severe flooding during periods of heavy rain.

“As a council, we need to do what we can by ensuring gullies in high risk areas are kept clear and I believe this change of approach will do just that,” said councillor Trevor Muten, chairman of the transport and sustainability committee..

“Surface water flooding is caused by the sewer system being overwhelmed and there are a lot of reasons for that, including the ongoing and increasing threat posed by climate change.

“Flooding is a growing problem across Brighton and Hove, and we have to find practical and affordable solutions to tackle it.

The Argus: There are 22,782 in the Brighton and Hove which drain surface water from the roads and pavementsThere are 22,782 in the Brighton and Hove which drain surface water from the roads and pavements (Image: Newsquest)

“But we must also work with Southern Water, who manage the city’s sewer system, and urge them to do more to prevent and reduce the risks of flooding, including the construction of more sustainable drainage systems.”

Connecting new gullies or replacing them with larger gullies could overload the system and risk sewage discharging onto our streets during heavy rainfall, the council said.

Gullies in other areas will be cleaned every one, two or four years based on the potential risk at each location and historic silt data.

The council said it will not cost any more to change the cleaning schedule.

READ MORE: Woodingdean residents tell Brighton council about flooding

Leaves, Victorian sewer systems and downpours caused by climate change were among reasons given for flash flooding, but the city council also says businesses have a part to play.

“In recent years, there’s been an increase in construction waste, particularly cement, being dumped into the sewage system,” said a council spokesman.

“This can block the system and be expensive to repair. The same happens when businesses dump cooking fat into the system.”