HC Deb 19 March 1986 vol 94 cc244-5W
Mr. Franks

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress has been made in implementing the Reservoirs Act 1975.

Mr. John Patten

The Reservoirs Act is being implemented in stages.

Last April in all areas in England, Scotland and Wales (Except Greater London and the metropolitan areas) responsibility for enforcement of the Act was placed on county and regional and islands councils which primarily involved them in setting up registers of reservoirs and taking action in the event of an emergency. Non-compliance with the Act's safety provisions became a criminal offence.

This April, the same responsibilities are being placed on the London borough and metropolitan district councils. Elsewhere the remaining provisions of the Act will come into effect. These largely replicate the requirements of the existing Reservoirs (Safety Provisions) Act 1930 dealing with the regular inspection of reservoirs and the supervision of their design and construction by qualified engineers appointed by the Secretary of State on the advice of the institution of Civil Engineers. There are two important new provisions: owners must appoint a named supervising engineer to keep the reservoir under continual supervision between inspections; and precautions must be taken if a reservoir is abandoned. These remaining provisions will come into force in Greater London and the metropolitan areas in April 1987.