Regulatory decisions for reservoirs

Requirements of the Reservoirs Act 1975 for reservoir undertakers and engineers in Wales

  • We expect you to comply with all your duties under the Reservoirs Act 1975.
  • You should make contingency plans to do this during any period the Covid-19 restrictions are in force.
  • In exceptional circumstances, where the impact of Covid-19 may cause delay or non-compliance with any statutory requirement under the Reservoirs Act 1975, you may request we apply this Regulatory Decision to your reservoir.

Apply this Regulatory Decision to your reservoir

You can ask us for this Regulatory Decision to be applied to your reservoir if you foresee a delay in meeting statutory deadlines or other legal duties under the Reservoirs Act 1975 because of exceptional circumstances caused by Covid-19.

Exceptional circumstances

We recognise that your ability to operate normally may be compromised by:

  • reduced staff availability
  • the need to protect staff
  • the need to minimise transmission of the virus
  • restrictions on movement and meeting of people

We recognise that Covid-19 may impact your normal operating practices. However, the proper construction, monitoring, maintenance, supervision and inspection of reservoirs remain ‘essential work’ to protect the people, property and environment downstream.

Contacting us

If you would like the Regulatory Decision to be applied to your reservoir you should contact us by email 

Alternatively, you can call the Reservoir Regulation Team enquiries on 03000 65 4299 or 03000 65 4799 or contact our Customer Hub and 24-hr Incident Hotline on 03000 65 3000.

Your application must include:

  • The name of the reservoir and details of each anticipated non-compliance
  • The anticipated duration of non-compliance
  • Your proposal for meeting the statutory requirements and the timescale for this
  • The implications of refusal of your proposal by us
  • Your proposal for ensuring the safety of the reservoir during the anticipated period of non-compliance
  • A written agreement in support of your proposal by the Supervising Engineer and/ or Inspecting Engineer as appropriate
  • Any application to extend timescales or adjust recommended measures must be done in consultation with an appointed qualified civil engineer.
  • Your confirmation that an up-to-date onsite emergency flood plan is available, and that it includes emergency draw down procedures
  • The name and address of an alternative Supervising Engineer if your appointed Supervising Engineer becomes unavailable

We will not normally consider applications in the following circumstances:

  • The application does not give the information listed above
  • Where non-compliance has already occurred at the subject reservoir.

Successful application

If we consider your application is reasonable, then:

  • We will confirm this in writing and may provide specific limitations and conditions to be met
  • You must comply with any limitations and conditions we set out and keep a record of how you do this
  • We will not normally take enforcement action against you for the anticipated non-compliances specified, subject to you meeting the conditions imposed by us
  • Our decision will be given an expiry date and may be withdrawn at any time if the conditions are not complied with
  • Our decision will only apply to requirements under the Reservoirs Act 1975.

Keep looking after your reservoir

You must continue to maintain your reservoir, undertake surveillance and monitoring activities, and keep the records required. You should consider what precautionary measures are needed to protect your own health and that of your staff and advisors. You should also consider:

  • Identification and agreement of alternative engineers / advisors to step-in to cover periods of sickness
  • The need for qualified advice from reservoir panel engineers to help prioritise “must do” activities
  • Staggering visits to reservoirs by different people, or for different reasons, to minimise the number of people on site at any one time
  • The number of people needed to be present on site at any one time should be minimised, with adoption of physical/ social distancing
  • Using photo, video, CCTV, etc. to share information
  • Commitment to critical works which affect the safety of the reservoir should only be undertaken where the engineer thinks there is a good certainty of completion without disruption.

Emergency plan

Your onsite emergency flood plan should be reviewed and updated to include any extra actions needed to respond safely to an incident whilst Covid-19 restrictions are in place.


You should contact your Supervising Engineer to confirm a contingency plan in case of sickness or self-isolation and identify suitable stand-in engineers.


If a statutory inspection is required, the Inspecting Engineer should be contacted to establish any changes required for their visit or an alternative engineer if they are unable to visit you.

Safety measures

You must seek to implement these immediately. You should contact your consultants, contractors or suppliers to check if their workplan is affected by the Covid-19 restrictions.

Keep informed

Our Reservoir Regulation Team is continuing to work and will endeavour to respond to your enquiries as normal. If we consider it necessary to visit your reservoir, we will contact you first to discuss this.

This Regulatory Decision replaces that previously published on 30 March 2020.

For the latest Welsh Government advice:

Last updated