Newark and Sherwood District Council does not have a legal duty to supply sandbags. We may, however, supply emergency sandbags to vulnerable properties and residents. This is assessed on previous flooding history, the likelihood that sandbags will prevent the flooding and on an individual's personal circumstances. For example we will prioritise buildings such as care homes and hospitals.

However, the delivery of sandbags cannot be guaranteed, due to the unpredictable nature of flooding incidents, including the availability of resources and possible road closures.  

Also we do not collect any of the bags from premises where they have been issued. 

If you believe you need sand bags, please call 01636 650000.

You will be asked for details relating to your property, who is in your property and rising water levels at that location. We will then assess the request and respond accordingly.

Sandbags available to buy

You can buy unfilled sandbags and a supply of sand from most DIY stores and Builders Merchants. You can also purchase filled sandbags from selective suppliers.

Please note that Newark and Sherwood District Council cannot, and does not, endorse or recommend any particular products or suppliers. 

What to do with sandbags after a flood

Wherever possible please store full bags that have not come into contact with flood water to use again if you need them in the future. Often more than one flooding incident can occur in quick succession. The council will not re-issue sandbags to the same property during one year.

The white plastic bags are durable for a period of a year or more if they are kept dry and in a shady place.

Please remember wet sandbags are very heavy, try to get someone to help you lift them. Any disabled people, the elderly or people with medical conditions who cannot lift or move the bags should contact us and we can arrange help.

If you are unable to store the bags full, then please empty the bags and store the pile of sand in your garden or yard and keep the bags so that they can be re-filled if necessary in the future.

If you do not wish to store them sand can be dug into the garden and once empty the bags can be placed in the wheelie bin and the sand dug into the garden if you have one.

DO NOT PLACE FULL SAND BAGS OR THE SAND IN YOUR WHEELIE BIN. Do not allow children to play with the sand, or place it in sand pits. The sand is not suitable for this purpose, and it may harm your children. Please ensure you wash your hands after handling the bags.


An Aqua-sac bag is a sturdy sack containing a superabsorbent polymer (SAP). After soaking in water for 5 – 8 minutes the bag self-inflates to over 30 times its original size. After inflation, the aqua-sac can be used in the construction of flood defences in a similar way to using traditional sandbags.

When deflated aqua-sacs are lighter and easier to handle than sandbags.


In order to be effective (i.e not float away / move) aqua-sacs must be fully inflated with water before being used to construct a flood defence.


Aqua-sacs are non-hazardous waste suitable for disposal in an approved solid waste landfill. Therefore, unused (dry) and used bags can be sent to landfill. Another possibility for disposal of limited numbers of bags is by 'greening', whereby bags are buried under a tree during planting to provide a water reservoir.

If greening is impractical, bags may be cut open to remove the SAP, which can be dug into soil to improve moisture retention.

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