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Reservoirs Act (Northern Ireland) 2015

Section 2 – Structure or area which is to be treated as a controlled reservoir

Under this section, certain structures or areas which individually are not a controlled reservoir under section 1 will be regulated by the Act as if they were controlled reservoirs.

The first scenario involves combinations of smaller structures or areas. Combinations have the potential to cause a similar degree of risk to public safety as individual reservoirs of a comparable releasable capacity, even though the individual structures or areas that comprise the combinations may each hold less than 10,000 cubic metres of water above the natural level of the surrounding land. Subsection (2) provides that combinations of such structures or areas are to be treated for the purposes of the Act as controlled reservoirs where, notwithstanding that they do not meet the volume threshold individually, water can flow or does flow between them and that there could be an uncontrolled release of 10,000 cubic metres of water as a result of the combined capacity which is above the natural level of any part of the surrounding land. This is intended to ensure that combinations of reservoirs are subject to regulation.

Subsection (3) enables the Department by regulations, to provide that a smaller reservoir is to be subject to the Act in the same way as if it were a controlled reservoir, if the Department determines that, despite the smaller capacity, reservoir failure has the potential to result in loss of life or certain other harm.

Subsection (4) requires the Department to notify the reservoir manager of the structure or area that by regulations is to be treated as a controlled reservoir. The notice must provide advice about registration requirements and timescales.

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Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


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