Maintaining our waterways

Our canals and rivers need our help every single day to make sure that they remain open and accessible to the millions of you who spend time on them each year.

While the heritage of our waterways is important to us, time isn’t always our friend. Over time our lock gates rot, our towpaths can become overgrown and our canals can silt up so that they become hard to navigate.

To keep our waterways open and accessible to everyone our maintenance teams take on a year-round battle with the elements. 

As part of our ongoing work to look after the nation’s 2,000 mile-long, 200 year-old network of canals, rivers, docks and reservoirs, every two months we inspect every section of our waterways and align our processes to the international asset management best practice standard ISO 55001.

For our 72 reservoirs, we carry out twice-weekly inspections, as well as more in-depth annual inspections. We adhere to our obligation, which requires regular supervision, inspection and maintenance by independently certified reservoir engineers. This means that every 10 years, detailed inspections are carried out by an independent panel engineer along with our own supervising engineer.

This section of the website will show you what we do to make sure your visit to the waterways is as enjoyable as you would expect it to be.

Last date edited: 11 November 2020