HC Deb 20 May 1981 vol 5 c119W
Sir Bernard Braine

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has as to how many dams in England and Wales are controlled by water authorities; how many are privately owned; how many of each are category A risk dams lying above a community; how many are category B risk dams lying above isolated dwellings; whether all such dams are covered by the statutory requirements that they be inspected; and whether he is satisfied that such inspections are carried out.

Mr. Giles Shaw

It is estimated that water authorities in England and Wales control nearly 2,600 reservoirs. Of these, 775 have a capacity of 5 million gallons or more, and these have to be inspected under the provisions of the Reservoirs (Safety Provisions) Act 1930. I am satisfied that these reservoirs are inspected regularly in accordance with the Act.

There are some 1,600 reservoirs that are not in the hands of statutory water undertakers. Of these almost 700 should come under the provisions of the 1930 Act. I am not satisfied that all of these have been inspected according to the provisions of the 1930 Act, and the Department will shortly be asking district councils and boroughs to recognise their current responsibilities under the provisions of this Act.

The classification of a dam as a category A, B or C risk is a matter for the engineer responsible under the 1930 Act for its design or inspection, in the light of the necessary safety factors. It is not a statutory matter, and I do not have the detailed information requested.

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