HR Wallingford

Project Description

As part of their ongoing research & development programme, the Environment Agency commissioned a project to produce a guide to “risk assessment for reservoirs safety” (SC090001).  This updates the 2004 Interim Guide to risk assessment published by the Institution of Civil Engineers and provides the definitive UK tool for the management of the risk of an uncontrolled release of the contents of a reservoir.

The Guide includes:

  • Description of risk based approach to management of reservoir safety
  • Tiered approach, with three levels of assessment, from simple qualitative to comprehensive quantitative
  •  Supporting information on special elements of risk assessment.

Development of the Guide included three workshop sessions with dam industry practitioners and undertaking pilot studies on nine reservoirs.

A subsequent project for Defra was also undertaken to produce a further guide entitled “Small reservoirs simplified risk assessment methodology”.  This provides guidance for farmers and others who wish to construct new small reservoirs. This Guide advises how selection of the site location and physical characteristics of the reservoir influence the level of hazard posed to third parties.  The project included liaison with Defra and stakeholders comprising the National Farmers Union (NFU), Countryside Landowners Association (CLA) and the Angling Trust.  It also included consultation with the Environment Agency and its consultants on the methodology that will be used to differentiate low from high risk reservoirs under the 2010 Flood and Water Management Act.

Both of these guides were produced by a consortium of leading dam engineering companies led by HR Wallingford and comprising Stillwater Associates, Atkins, RAC Consultants and Paul Sayers.