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Sandbags

Sandbags can be used to stop or limit flood water from entering buildings. We have our own sandbag policy.


We distribute empty sandbags out to district, town and parish councils for them to give to residents who are at flood risk.

Each of those councils has its own policy on giving sandbags to residents and businesses to protect against flooding. To find out about those individual policies contact your local district council.

Bear in mind that there are products available to buy which protect better and are more practical and manageable than sandbags. For information on such products, visit the Blue Pages Directory put together by the National Flood Forum.

How much sand do you need?

We supply empty sandbags to town and parish councils to distribute so you will need to fill them with sand yourself:

  • 1 sandbag will require 20kg of sand or soil
  • 10 sandbags will require 200kg of sand or soil
  • 50 sandbags will require 1,000kg of sand or soil

Filling your sandbags

Here are some things to remember when filling your sandbags:

  • only fill your sandbag up to three quarters full as it can then be moulded easily into the right shape
  • be careful as filling and carrying sandbags is heavy work
  • you should tie off the top of a filled sandbag with string
  • place sandbags against doorways and pack them in tightly to protect against water
  • seal up air bricks or vents close to the ground - you may need to turn off heating appliances to do this safely

How to place sandbags

Follow these steps to make sure that you are placing sandbags in the right way:

  • lift the sandbag by the neck and place it across the doorway
  • make sure it is bedded in against the door and frame
  • make sure that the neck is pulled back across the top of the bag
  • layer the sandbags in brick formation, making sure that joints are staggered

Other things to remember

Here are some other points to remember about using sandbags properly.

Sandbags will stop a few inches of water for a while before water seeps through - the deeper the water gets, the quicker it will seep through. Be prepared to remove water which seeps behind the sandbags.

Plastic sandbags will not rot but become brittle and disintegrate if left in the sun. If stored out of sun and rain, they should last for between two and five years.

Used sandbags may be contaminated so be sure to wear gloves when disposing of them. Empty bags can be disposed of in your bin and contents can be used on flower beds or elsewhere in the garden.