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Reservoir Safety and the Toddbrook Incident, Pontefract

Event organised by ICE

28 September 2021
11:30 - 14:00 BST (GMT+1)
Rogerthorpe Manor Hotel
Pontefract, WF9 1AB
United Kingdom

This event has now ended

You can catch-up on details or any broadcast and downloads here.


In August 2019, prolonged heavy rainfall caused serious damage to the spillway at Toddbrook reservoir in Whaley Bridge. A large part of the town had to be evacuated and a fast response by the reservoir’s owner (the Canal and River Trust), the Environment Agency, emergency services and others in a coordinated action prevented a disastrous dam failure.

In September 2019 the Secretary of State announced an independent review of the incident and Professor David Balmforth was appointed to lead it. That review, in two parts, is now complete, and the lessons learned from the incident and recommendations for strengthening the current reservoir safety regime have now been published.

After an introduction that sets out the technical and administrative circumstances of the failure, and a summary of the content of the reports, David Balmforth will explain how he went about the review, how he came to his findings, and what this means for the future of the reservoirs’ sector in England and Wales.


Tea and coffee will be served at registration for the meeting, at no charge to members. Following the meeting a sandwich lunch will be served (see filling choices), to be ordered in advance when booking for the meeting and paid in cash at registration. The cost is £10 per person and £4 for a side order of bowl of chips. Bar drinks at lunch including teas or coffees to be purchased separately.

If you book lunch but later you find that you are unable to attend, provided that you notify the Hon Sec not less than two working days beforehand you will not be charged. If you cancel after that we will always endeavour to make an adjustment with the venue so that you may not have to pay, but we reserve the right to request reimbursement from you if that isn’t possible.

Covid Precautions

The hotel is and expects to remain a “covid secure” venue. Although social distancing is no longer required, strict hygiene arrangements including the provision of hand sanitisers are in place. Our room is spacious and additional ventilation if needed can be realised through the conservatory and its doors opening out onto hotel grounds. Face coverings will not be mandatory. Exact money please for your lunch, no change will be given.


If you wish to attend this meeting, please advise the Hon Secretary not later than 11.00 on Thursday 23 September 2021 giving the information on the booking form, either by e-mail to [email protected], or by post to: Hugh Allan, 8 West End Close, Horsforth, Leeds LS18 5JN.

Note: RICE meetings are open to all members of ICE and to members of other organisations with whom the ICE has a reciprocal arrangement, such as IET and IMechE. Additionally, RICE members may invite a guest to a RICE ordinary meeting, two times in a year.

Please note we hope to offer this event virtually. If this is possible the link will be forwarded to those who register


10.30 Registration, coffee & tea service
11.00 RICE Annual General Meeting
11.30 Presentation by Prof David Balmforth, followed by questions and discussion
13.00 Bar open and sandwich lunch service

For more information please contact:

Joanne Topping