Explanatory Memorandum

Reservoirs Act (Northern Ireland) 2015

2015 CHAPTER 8

24 July 2015

Commentary on Sections

Part 2 – Requirements for high consequence and medium consequence reservoirs

Supervision by supervising engineer

Section 30 – Inspection timing: general requirements

Subsection (1) requires the reservoir manager of a high or medium consequence reservoir to have an inspection of the reservoir carried out before the end of one year from the date on which its first reservoir designation takes effect, (“the relevant date” defined in subsection (6) of section 31). There is an exception in subsection (2); an inspection is not required under subsection (1) when a high consequence reservoir becomes designated as a medium consequence reservoir (following a periodic re-assessment under section 18 or a review or appeal).

Subsections (3) and (4) then require inspections at other times. The reservoir manager must have an inspection carried out at any time recommended by the supervising engineer or at any time recommended in an inspection report; and there must be no more than 10 years between inspections of a high consequence reservoir.

The general rule therefore is that a high consequence reservoir will be inspected within one year of being designated as high consequence for the first time and every 10 years thereafter unless an earlier inspection is recommended by the supervising engineer or directed in an inspection report. A medium consequence reservoir will require to be inspected within one year from being designated as medium consequence for the first time and thereafter an inspection will only be required if recommended by the supervising engineer or a further inspection is recommended in an inspection report. No inspection is required for reservoirs designated as low consequence. Where a reservoir was medium consequence and was designated as high consequence following a periodic re-assessment, the date of the latest inspection would determine the timing for the next inspection, or as recommend by the supervising engineer.

There are other exceptions from the requirement of inspection within one year of the first designation as high or medium consequence (in subsection (1)), to deal with special cases. These exceptions, alongside alternative requirements, are set out in sections 31 and 32.

It should be noted that subsection 1 will come into operation in Phase 1 while the requirement for further inspections will not come into operation until Phase 2 has been approved by a resolution of the Assembly.