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Event Organiser: The British Dam Society

The Development of the London Storage Reservoir System – an Historical View, webinar

  • Webinar
  • Online
  • 12 July 2021
  • 18:00 - 19:30
The Development of the London Storage Reservoir System – an Historical View, webinar

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The mid-nineteenth century saw large increases in London’s population and both the quality and quantity of water required to sustain the Capital had become a major concern. A series of Royal Commissions were instigated to look into the issue and a major political debate ensued over the decades that followed as to how best to resolve the issue.

Opinion was divided as to whether the existing sources of water from within the Thames catchment would be adequate compared with the potential to supply water from upland sources further afield. Disputes arose as to who was best placed to supply London’s water supply; but it was not until after the formation of the Metropolitan Water Board at the turn of the 20th Century that decisions were taken that significantly improved London’s water storage position. This resulted in the progressive development of the storage reservoir system within the Thames catchment that we rely on to this day.

The presenter will chart, from a historical perspective, the key events and look at some of the early proposals from the Victorian era. This will be followed by a look at the planning and implementation of the programme for the construction of London storage reservoir system. This was successfully achieved during the first 70 years of 20th Century, despite the impact of two world wars and the resulting economic conditions that prevailed.  


Bryn Philpott C.Eng, M.I.C.E. M.C.I.W.E.M.

Senior Reservoir Engineer – Thames Water

Bryn Philpott is a Chartered Civil Engineer who has worked in the Water industry for over 40 years in a number of roles. His earliest involvement with the London reservoirs occurred when he assisted in the preparation of documentation for the implementation of the Reservoirs Act 1975 for Thames Water Authority in the early 1980s.

He has worked on the design of fluvial and tidal flood alleviation schemes for the National Rivers Authority and in the construction supervision of major water treatment works extensions at Walton and Hampton, along with a large diameter cross country pipeline in Oxfordshire for Thames Water plc.

He was Resident Engineer of the construction of a Statutory Service reservoir at Dollis Hill and has worked on the refurbishment of numerous of Thames Water’s statutory and non-statutory reservoirs. In 2003 he was appointed to the Supervising Engineer Panel and since then has worked within Thames Water’s Reservoir Safety department, where he supervises a number of their statutory reservoirs (i.e. embankment, service and flood storage reservoirs).

Bryn jointly presented a paper on the Queen Mary and King George V emergency draw down siphons project at the BDS Warwick Conference, which won the Bateman Prize in 2008. He has also sat on several steering groups associated with reservoir safety guidance documents.

Event venue

United Kingdom

For more information please contact:

Shelly-Ann Russell

e: [email protected]