Reservoir registration
Produced in partnership with Begonia Filgueira of Foot Anstey
Reservoir registration

The following Environment guidance note Produced in partnership with Begonia Filgueira of Foot Anstey provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Reservoir registration
  • What is a reservoir?
  • Large raised reservoirs in England
  • Large raised reservoirs in Wales
  • Exemptions
  • Registration obligation
  • Who is an undertaker?
  • Designation of high risk
  • What is ‘high risk’?
  • Difference between full and general registration
  • more

What is a reservoir?

The Reservoirs Act 1975 (RA 1975), as amended by (FWMA 2010), applies only to 'large raised reservoirs', which includes:

  1. a large raised structure designed or used for collecting and storing water

  2. a large, raised lake or other area capable of storing water which was created or enlarged by artificial means

A structure or area is 'raised' if it is capable of holding water above the natural level of any part of the surrounding land (RA 1975, s A1(2)).

A raised structure or area is 'large' if it is capable of holding 10,000 cubic metres of water in Wales or 25,000 cubic metres in England above the natural level of any part of the surrounding land (RA 1975, s A1(3)).

Large raised reservoirs need to be registered with the Environment Agency (EA) in England or Natural Resources Wales (NRW) in Wales.

The calculation of capacity of a large raised reservoir is provided in the Reservoirs Act 1975 (Capacity, Registration, Prescribed Forms, etc) (England) Regulations 2013, SI 2013/1677, and the Reservoirs Act 1975 (Capacity, Registration, Prescribed Forms, etc) (Wales) Regulations 2016, SI 2016/80 by measuring the maximum volume of water in cubic metres capable of being stored:

  1. above the bed of the reservoir; and

  2. between the toe of the reservoir and its top water level

Large raised reservoirs