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The Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017

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PART 4MONITORING OF WATER SUPPLIES

Monitoring Programmes

6.—(1) A water undertaker must monitor all water it supplies that is intended for human consumption in accordance with this Part and Part 5 and it must discharge that obligation through the establishment of a monitoring programme in accordance with Schedule 3.

(2) A water undertaker must ensure that a monitoring programme established under paragraph (1) is kept under review and updated or reconfirmed at least every 5 years.

Monitoring: Group A and Group B monitoring

7.—(1) In this Part, “monitoring of a Group A parameter” (Group A monitoring) means monitoring for the purpose of obtaining information at regular intervals—

(a)as to the organoleptic and microbiological quality of water;

(b)as to the effectiveness of drinking-water treatment (particularly of disinfection) where it is used;

(c)as regards indicator parameters, whether water supplied for regulation 5(1) purposes meets the specifications for those parameters; and

(d)in respect of certain other parameters which may be identified as relevant by a water undertaker in the monitoring programme.

(2) The purpose of monitoring of a Group A parameter is to determine whether the presence of such a parameter in water supplied for regulation 5(1) purposes satisfies the provisions of Part 3 of these Regulations or, if a departure has been authorised under Part 8 in relation to that supply, those provisions as read with the terms of that departure.

(3) In this Part, “monitoring of a Group B parameter” (Group B monitoring) means monitoring each parameter listed in Schedule 1 (other than a parameter being monitored under Group A monitoring) for the purpose of obtaining information from which it may be established—

(a)whether water supplied for the purposes of regulation 5(1) satisfied the provisions of Part 3 of these Regulations or, if a departure has been authorised under Part 8 in relation to that supply, those provisions as read with the terms of that departure; and

(b)as regards indicator parameters, whether water supplied for regulation 5(1) purposes meets the specifications for those parameters.

Monitoring: general provisions

8.—(1) For the purpose of determining whether water to which this Part applies, satisfies the provisions of Part 3 or, if a departure has been authorised under Part 8 in relation to that supply, those provisions as read with the terms of that authorisation, a water undertaker must take, or cause to be taken, and analyse, or cause to be analysed, not less than the number of samples of the water within each of its water supply zones specified in, or in accordance with provisions of, this Part.

(2) Except in a case to which paragraph (3) applies, the parameters listed in Tables A and B in Schedule 1 and the indicator parameters in Schedule 2 must be subject—

(a)to Group A monitoring in the circumstances specified in column (3) of Table 1 in Schedule 3; and

(b)in any other case, Group B monitoring.

(3) Where—

(a)the distribution of water in any part of a water supply zone is by tanker; and

(b)it is or is likely to be an intermittent short-term supply,

samples of water from each tanker from which water is distributed must be taken 48 hours after the commencement of the distribution from that tanker and every 48 hours thereafter until the distribution is discontinued.

(4) Of the samples taken in accordance with paragraph (3) in relation to each distribution, the first must be analysed for compliance with the parameters Escherichia coli (E. coli), and conductivity (item 2 in Table A in Schedule 1, and item 6 in Schedule 2, respectively), and the second and any subsequent samples must be analysed for compliance with those and every other parameter.

(5) The copper, lead and nickel parameters and, subject to regulation 19, the parameters relevant to radioactivity (indicative dose, radon, and tritium), must be monitored in such manner as the Department may determine and specify by notice in writing given to a water undertaker.

(6) A water undertaker may use a screening strategy for gross alpha and gross beta to monitor for the parametric indicator value for indicative dose.

(7) Indicative dose must be monitored in accordance with Schedule 5.

Sampling points

9.  Except in relation to water supplied from a tanker, sampling points in respect of every parameter, other than a parameter for which samples are taken from a supply point authorised by or under regulation 10, must be selected at random unless, by notice in writing to a water undertaker (whether or not on the application of the water undertaker), the Department otherwise determines.

Authorisation of supply points

10.—(1) For those parameters specified as items 7 to 19, and 21 to 30 in column 1 of Table 3 in Schedule 3 samples may be taken by a water undertaker from—

(a)any blending point;

(b)the water leaving any service reservoir which receives water from a treatment works before its supply to any consumer; and

(c)the water leaving any treatment works.

(2) If the Department is satisfied that analysis of those samples taken under paragraph (1) will produce data which are unlikely to differ in material respect from the data that would be produced from analysis of samples obtained from sampling points, the Department may authorise the use for the purposes of regulation 8 of samples in relation to those parameters taken from a water supply zone from a blending point, a service reservoir of the description in paragraph (1) or a treatment works.

(3) Subject to paragraph (5), the Department may, in relation to any parameter not covered by the authorisation in paragraph (2), on the written application of a water undertaker, authorise the use for the purposes of regulation 8 of samples taken from a water supply zone otherwise than from a sampling point.

(4) An authorisation under paragraph (3) may extend to all samples in relation to that parameter or to such number or proportion of those samples as is specified in the authorisation.

(5) The Department must not grant an authorisation under paragraph (3) unless it is satisfied that analysis of samples taken from a point other than a sampling point will produce data in respect of the parameter in question which are unlikely to differ in any material respect from the data that would be produced in respect of that parameter from analysis of samples obtained from sampling points.

(6) Subject to paragraph (7), the Department may at any time modify or revoke an authorisation under paragraph (3).

(7) Unless it appears to the Department that the immediate modification or revocation of an authorisation under paragraph (3) is required in the interests of public health, it must not modify or revoke such an authorisation without giving the water undertaker at least six weeks’ notice of the Department’s intention to modify or revoke.

(8) A water undertaker must notify the Department as soon as it has reasonable grounds for believing that an analysis of samples taken from a water supply zone from a point other than a sampling point would produce data in respect of the parameter in question which would differ in a material respect from the data produced by an analysis of samples taken from any of the sampling points within that zone.

(9) On being notified under paragraph (8) and without the need for prior notice to the water undertaker, the Department must revoke the authorisation.

Number of samples

11.—(1) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3) in each year a water undertaker must take, or cause to be taken—

(a)from its sampling points; or

(b)to the extent authorised by or under regulation 10 from its supply points,

the number of samples per year for analysis as regards residual disinfectant and each parameter listed in Table 2 in Schedule 3 or, as the case may be, Table 3 in that Schedule.

(2) Samples required to be taken by this regulation must be taken at regular intervals.

(3) In this regulation—

(a)in relation to sampling points, residual disinfectant or a parameter, and the supply of water to an estimated population within the range shown in Table 2 in Schedule 3, “the number of samples per year” means the number shown in that Table as applicable to that substance or parameter by reference to a population within that range;

(b)in relation to supply points, each of the parameters specified as items 7 and 12 to 30 in Table 3 in Schedule 3, and the supply of a volume of water within the range shown in column (3) of that Table, “the number of samples per year” means the number shown in column (4), of that Table as applicable to that parameter by reference to a volume supplied within that range; and

(c)where a particular supply point is in use for only part of a year, “the number of samples per year” means the number that bears to the number shown in column (4) of Table 3, the same proportion as the number of days in that year in which the supply point has been in use bears to 365.

Sampling: further provisions

12.  As soon as a water undertaker has reasonable grounds (such as the findings of a risk assessment) for believing that any element, organism or substance, other than residual disinfectant or a parameter (whether alone or in combination with a parameter or any other element, organism or substance) may cause the supply within any of its water supply zones to be a supply which does not satisfy—

(a)the provisions of Part 3; or

(b)if a departure has been authorised under Part 8, those provisions as read with the terms of that authorisation,

it must take, or cause to be taken, sufficient samples from water within that zone (whether from a service reservoir, a treatment works or otherwise) in respect of that element, organism or substance, in order to establish whether that water is wholesome.

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