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The Private Water Supplies (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015

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Citation and commencement

1.—(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Private Water Supplies (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015 and shall come into operation on 28th November 2015.

(2) The Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954(1) shall apply to these Regulations as it applies to an Act of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Amendment of the Private Water Supplies Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009

2.  The Private Water Supplies Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009(2) are amended in accordance with regulations 3 to 10.

Amendment of Regulation 2

3.—(1) For Regulation 2 substitute—

2.(1) The Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954(3) 54 shall apply to these Regulations as it applies to an Act of Assembly.

(2) In these Regulations—

“the 2006 Order” means the Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006;

“the Appeals Commission” means the Water Appeals Commission for Northern Ireland as established under Part XII of the 2006 Order;

the Department” means the Department of the Environment;

“district council” means a district council as established under Part I of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972(4);

“indicative dose” or “ID” means the committed effective dose for one year of ingestion resulting from all the radionuclides whose presence has been detected in a supply of water intended for human consumption, of natural and artificial origin, but excluding tritium, potassium-40, radon and short-lived radon decay products;

“radioactive substance” means any substance that contains one or more radionuclides the activity or concentration of which cannot be disregarded as far as radiation protection is concerned;

a “responsible person” is—

(a)

the owner or occupier of the land supplied; and

(b)

any other person who exercises powers of management or control in relation to the supply.

“the Public Health Agency” means the Regional Agency for Public Health and Social Well-being as established under Section 12 of the Health and Social Care (Reform) Act (Northern Ireland) 2009(5);

“water intended for human consumption” means:

(a)

all water, either in its original state or after treatment, intended for drinking, cooking, food preparation or other domestic purposes, regardless of its origin and whether it is supplied from a distribution network, a tanker, or in bottles or containers;

(b)

all water used in any food-production undertaking for the manufacture, processing, preservation or marketing of products or substances intended for human consumption unless the competent national authorities are satisfied that the quality of the water cannot affect the wholesomeness of the foodstuff in its finished form.

(3) Any other expressions used in these Regulations have the same meaning as Council Directive 98/83/EC and Council Directive 2013/51/Euratom.

Amendment of Regulation 7

4.  For regulation 7 (Requirement to carry out risk assessment) substitute—

Requirement to carry out a risk assessment

7.(1) The Department shall carry out an assessment (“risk assessment”) of the potential risks associated with each private supply to which these Regulations apply (other than a supply under regulation 11) and subsequently review and update that risk assessment every five years (or earlier if it considers that the existing risk assessment is inadequate).

(2) The Department shall carry out a risk assessment, where the private supply is a new supply and is to be used for the first time, within six months of that supply being monitored under regulations 9 and 10.

(3) The Department may enter into an arrangement for any person to carry out a risk assessment on its behalf for the purposes of this regulation.

(4) The Department may provide for any such person to be reimbursed.

(5) The Department shall not enter into an arrangement under paragraph (3) unless it is satisfied that the task will be carried out promptly by a person competent to perform it.

5.  After regulation 7 (Requirement to carry out risk assessment), insert—

(7A) The Department shall carry out a representative survey in accordance with the following to determine the likelihood of a supply failing the radon maximum concentration or value specified in Schedule 1 Part 2;

A representative survey must be designed in such a way—

(a)as to be capable of determining the scale and nature of likely exposures to radon in water intended for human consumption originating from different types of groundwater sources and wells in different geological areas; and

(b)that underlying parameters, especially the geology and hydrology of the area, radioactivity of rock or soil, and well type, can be identified and used to direct further action to areas of likely high exposure.

Amendment of Regulation 8 Monitoring

6.  Substitute Regulation 8 (Monitoring)—

8.(1) The Department shall monitor all private supplies in accordance with this Part.

(2) Samples required to be taken in accordance with this Part shall be taken at regular intervals so as to be representative of the quality of the water consumed throughout the year

Amendment of Schedule 1 Concentrations and Values

7.  For Schedule 1 Part 2 (Indicator Parameters) substitute—

PART 2Indicator Parameters

ParametersMaximum concentration or value or state (unless otherwise stated)Units of measurement
(1)

The water should not be aggressive.

(2)

Excluding tritium, potassium-40, radon and radon decay products.

(3)

Where treatment to reduce the level of radionuclides in water intended for human consumption has being taken, monitoring must be carried out under Schedule 3 Part 1 to ensure the continued efficacy of treatment.

(4)

If the gross alpha activity exceeds 0.1Bq/l or the gross beta activity exceeds 1.0Bq/l analysis for specific radionuclides is required.

(5)

Remedial action is deemed to be justified on radiological protection grounds, without further consideration, where radon concentrations exceed 1000Bq/l.

(6)

If tritium concentration exceeds its parametric value an investigation (which may include analysis) of the presence of other artificial radionuclides must be carried out.

(7)

Only in the case of surface water treatment where the parametric value should be strived for the water ex-treatment works.

Ammonium0.50mgNH4/l
Chloride(1)250mgCl/l
Clostridium perfringens (including spores)0Number/100ml
Coliform bacteria0Number/100ml
Colony counts

No abnormal change

No abnormal change

Number/1ml at 22oC

Number/1ml at 37oC

Conductivity(1)2,500µS/cm at 20oC
Hydrogen ion(1)

9.5

6.5 (minimum)

pH value

pH value

Sulphate(1)250mgSO4/l
Indicative dose (for radioactivity)(2) (3) (4)0.10mSv/year
Radon (for radioactivity)(3) (5)100Bq/1
Total organic carbon(TOC)No abnormal changemgC/l
Tritium (for radioactivity)(3) (6)100Bq/l
Turbidity(7)1NTU

Amendment of Schedule 2 Requirements for Risk Assessment

8.  Schedule 2 (Requirements for Risk Assessment) ceases to have effect.

Amendment of Schedule 3 Monitoring

9.  For Schedule 3 Part 1 (Check Monitoring) substitute—

PART 1Check Monitoring

Sampling

1.  Check monitoring means sampling for each parameter listed in Table A in the circumstances listed in that table.

Table A
Check Monitoring
ParameterCircumstances
AluminiumWhen used as flocculant or where the water originates from, or is influenced by, surface waters
AmmoniumIn all supplies
Clostridium perfringens (including spores)Where the water originates from, or is influenced by, surface waters
Coliform bacteriaIn all supplies
ColourIn all supplies
ConductivityIn all supplies
Escherichia coli (E. coli)In all supplies
Hydrogen ionIn all supplies
IDWhere treatment to reduce the level of radionuclides in water intended for human consumption has been taken
IronWhen used as flocculant or where the water originates from, or is influenced by, surface waters
ManganeseWhere the water originates from, or is influenced by, surface waters
NitrateWhen chloramination is practised
NitriteWhen chloramination is practised
OdourIn all supplies
RadonWhere treatment to reduce the level of radionuclides in water intended for human consumption has been taken
TasteIn all supplies
TritiumWhere treatment to reduce the level of radionuclides in water intended for human consumption has been taken
TurbidityIn all supplies
Disinfectant residualWhen disinfection treatment is practised

Frequency of sampling

2.(1) Sampling for non-radioactive substances shall be carried out at frequencies specified in table B of this Schedule and sampling for radioactive substances shall be carried out at frequencies specified in table B1 of this Schedule.

TABLE B
Sampling frequency for check monitoring
Volume m3/daySampling frequency per year
≤101
> 10 ≤ 1002
> 100 ≤ 1,0004
> 1,000 ≤ 2,00010
> 2,000 ≤ 3,00013
> 3,000 ≤ 4,00016
> 4,000 ≤ 5,00019
> 5,000 ≤ 6,00022
> 6,000 ≤ 7,00025
> 7,000 ≤ 8,00028
> 8,000 ≤ 9,00031
> 9,000 ≤ 10,00034
> 10,0004 + 3 for each 1,000 m3/day of the total volume (rounding up to the nearest multiple of 1,000 m3/day)
TABLE B1
Volume m3 /daySampling frequency per year
≤ 10001
> 1000 ≤ 10,0001 + 1 for each 3,300 m3/day of the total volume (rounding up to the nearest multiple of 3,300 m3/day)
> 10,000 ≤ 100,0003 + 1 for each 10,000 m3/day of the total volume (rounding up to the nearest multiple of 10,000 m3/day)
> 100,00010 + 1 for each 25,000 m3/day of the total volume (rounding up to the nearest multiple of 25,000 m3/day)

(2) The Department may reduce the frequency of sampling for a parameter within Table B to a frequency not less than half if—

(a)it is of the opinion that the quality of water in the supply is unlikely to deteriorate;

(b)in the case of hydrogen ion the parameter has had a pH value that is not less than 6.5 and not more than 9.5; and

(c)in all other cases, in each of two successive years the results of samples taken for the purposes of monitoring the parameter in question are constant and significantly lower than the concentrations or values laid down in Schedule 1.

(3) The Department may set a higher frequency for any parameter if it considers it appropriate taking into account the findings of any risk assessment, and in addition may monitor anything else identified in the risk assessment.

10.  After paragraph 3 (2) of Part 2 of Schedule 3, insert—

(2A) The Department shall communicate to the European Commission notice along with supporting evidence of the decision to exclude any radioactive parameters listed in Schedule 1 from the audit monitoring of a private water supply.

Amendment of Schedule 4 Sampling and Analysis

11.  For Schedule 4 After Part 2 (Analytical Methods), insert—

PART 3Monitoring for Indicative Dose and Analytical Performance Characteristics

Monitoring for Compliance with the ID

6.  Screening strategy for gross alpha activity and gross beta activity (6) may be used to monitor for the parametric indicator value for indicative dose.

If the gross alpha activity is less than 0.1 Bq/l and the gross beta activity is less than 1.0 Bq/l, it may be assumed that the total indicative dose is less than 0.1 mSv and radiological investigation is not needed unless it is known from other sources of information that specific radionuclides are present in water that are liable to cause an excess of 0.1 mSv.

If the gross alpha activity exceeds 0.1Bq/l or the gross beta activity exceeds 1.0Bq/l analysis for specific radionuclides is required.

The radionuclides to be measured must be based on all relevant information about likely sources of radioactivity.

Calculation of the ID

7.  The ID must be calculated from the measured radionuclide concentrations and the dose coefficients laid down in Annex III, Table A of Directive 96/29/Euratom(7) or more recent information recognised by the Department, on the basis of the annual intake of water (730 l for adults).

Where the following formula is satisfied, it can be assumed that the ID is less than the parametric value of 0.1mSv and no further investigation is required.

Formula for calculation of the Indicative Dose in water.

where

Ci(obs) = observed concentration of radionuclide i

Ci(der) = derived concentration of radionuclide i

n = number of radionuclides detected.

Table C
Derived concentrations for radioactivity in water intended for human consumption(1)
OriginNuclideDerived concentration
(1)

This table includes values for the most common natural and artificial radionuclides; these are precise values, calculated for a dose of 0.1mSV, an annual intake of 730 litre and using the dose coefficients laid down in Annex III Table A of Directive 96/29/Euratom; derived concentration for other radionuclides can be calculated on the same basis, and values can be updated on the basis of more recent information recognised by the Department.

(2)

This table allows only for the radiological properties of uranium, not for its chemical toxicity.

NaturalU-238(2)3.0 Bq/l
U-234(2)2.8 Bq/l
Ra-2260.5 Bq/l
Ra-2280.2 Bq/l
Pb-2100.2 Bq/l
Po-2100.1 Bq/l
ArtificialC-14240 Bq/l
Sr-904.9 Bq/l
Pu-239/Pu-2400.6 Bq/l
Am-2410.7 Bq/l
Co-6040 Bq/l
Cs-1347.2 Bq/l
Cs-13711 Bq/l
I-1316.2 Bq/l

Performance characteristics and method of analysis.

8.  For the following parameters and radionuclides, the method of analysis used must, as a minimum be capable of measuring activity concentrations with a limit of detection specified below in Table D:

Table D
Parameters and radiouclidesLimit of detection(1) (2)
(1)

The limit of detection must be calculated according to the ISO standard 11929: Determination of the characteristic limits (decision threshold, detection limit, and limits of the confidence interval) for measurements of ionising radiation – Fundamentals and application, with probabilities of error of 1st and 2nd kind of 0.05 each.

(2)

Measurement uncertainties must be calculated and reported as complete standard uncertainties or as expanded standard uncertainties with an expansion factor of 1.96 according the ISO Guide for the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement.

(3)

The limit of detection for tritium and for radon is 10% of its parametric value of 100 Bg/l.

(4)

The limit of detection for gross alpha activity and gross beta activities are 40% of the screening values of 0.1 and 1.0 Bg/l respectively.

(5)

This limit of detection applies only to initial screening for ID for a new water source, if initial checking indicates that it is not plausible that Ra-228 exceeds 20% of the derived concentration, the limit of detection may be increased to 0.08 Bg/l for routine Ra-228 nuclide specific measurements until a subsequent re-check is required.

Tritium10 Bg/l(3)
Radon10 Bg/l(3)
gross alpha activity0.04 Bg/l(4)
gross beta activity0.4 Bg/l(4)
U-2380.02 Bg/l
U-2340.02 Bg/l
Ra-2260.04 Bg/l
Ra-2280.02 Bg/l(5)
Pb-2100.02 Bg/l
Po-2100.01 Bg/l
C-1420 Bg/l
Sr-900.4 Bg/l
Pu-239/Pu-2400.04 Bg/l
Am-2410.06 Bg/l
Co-600.5 Bg/l
Cs-1340.5 Bg/l
Cs-1370.5 Bg/l
I-1310.5 Bg/l

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department of the Environment on 6th November 2015

Legal seal

Dave Foster

A senior officer of the Department of the Environment

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