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Reservoir Safety Legislation Changes

Birmingham Resilience Team attended an event recently, which was held  jointly by the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The event aim was to provide an update on the forthcoming changes to reservoir safety legislation. The introduction of the Floods and Water Management Act 2010 provides for better, more comprehensive management of flood risk for people, homes and businesses.  The Act also introduces changes to current reservoir safety legislation (Reservoir Act 1975).

October 2011 brought with it the commencement of definitions and powers for the Minister to make secondary legislation in relation to reservoir legislation.  The introduction of this legislation will be in two phases.

Phase one of these changes will start in April 2013 when changes will come into force for existing large raised reservoirs only.  These are reservoirs that can hold more than 25,000 cubic metres of water above the natural level of the surrounding land.  In addition, April 2013 will see the de‑regulation of some existing of large raised reservoirs which are not identified as high risk.

Phase two is still subject to Minister’s approval and is estimated to start in 2014/2015.  It is expected to bring into force regulation for smaller reservoirs that are over a new threshold figure of 10,000 cubic metres of water above the natural level of the surrounding land or any different volume of water specified by the Minister.

For further information on reservoirs and reservoir emergencies please go to Defra or our Reservoir pages.

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