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Water Industry Act 1991

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MiscellaneousE+W

208 Directions in the interests of national security.E+W

(1)The Secretary of State may, after consultation with a relevant undertaker [F1or licensed water supplier] , give to that undertaker [F2or supplier (as the case may be)] such directions of a general character as appear to the Secretary of State to be requisite or expedient in the interests of national security or for the purpose of mitigating the effects of any civil emergency which may occur.

(2)If it appears to the Secretary of State to be requisite or expedient to do so in the interests of national security or for the purpose of mitigating the effects of any civil emergency which has occurred or may occur, he may, after consultation with a relevant undertaker [F1or licensed water supplier] , give to that undertaker [F2or supplier (as the case may be)] a direction requiring it to do, or not to do, a particular thing specified in the direction.

(3)It shall be the duty of a relevant undertaker [F3or licensed water supplier] , notwithstanding any other duty imposed on it (whether or not by or under this Act), to comply with any direction given to it by the Secretary of State under this section; and the duty of a relevant undertaker [F3or licensed water supplier] to comply with any such direction shall be enforceable under section 18 above by the Secretary of State.

[F4(3A)The Secretary of State may, after consultation with the Council, give to the Council such directions of a general character as appear to the Secretary of State to be requisite or expedient—

(a)in the interests of national security; or

(b)in connection with any civil emergency which may occur.

(3B)If it appears to the Secretary of State to be requisite or expedient to do so—

(a)in the interests of national security; or

(b)in connection with any civil emergency which has occurred or may occur,

he may, after consultation with the Council, give to the Council a direction requiring it to do, or not to do, a particular thing specified in the direction.

(3C)The Council shall comply with any direction given to it by the Secretary of State under this section.]

(4)The Secretary of State shall lay before each House of Parliament a copy of every direction given under this section unless he is of the opinion that disclosure of the direction is against the interests of national security.

(5)A person shall not disclose, or be required by virtue of any enactment or otherwise to disclose, anything done by virtue of this section if the Secretary of State has notified him that the Secretary of State is of the opinion that disclosure of that thing is against the interests of national security.

(6)Any person who discloses any matter in contravention of subsection (5) above shall be guilty of an offence and liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine or to both.

(7)Any reference in this section to a civil emergency is a reference to any natural disaster or other emergency which, in the opinion of the Secretary of State, is or may be likely, in relation to any area—

(a)so to disrupt water supplies or sewerage services; or

(b)to involve such destruction of or damage to life or property in that area,

as seriously and adversely to affect all the inhabitants of that area, or a substantial number of them, whether by depriving them of any of the essentials of life or otherwise.

Textual Amendments

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1S. 208: certain functions exercisable concurrently with the Secretary of State (W.) (1.7.1999) by S.IO. 1999/672, art. 2, Sch. 1

209 Civil liability of undertakers for escapes of water etc.E+W

(1)Where an escape of water, however caused, from a pipe vested in a water undertaker causes loss or damage, the undertaker shall be liable, except as otherwise provided in this section, for the loss or damage.

(2)A water undertaker shall not incur any liability under subsection (1) above if the escape was due wholly to the fault of the person who sustained the loss or damage or of any servant, agent or contractor of his.

(3)A water undertaker shall not incur any liability under subsection (1) above in respect of any loss or damage for which the undertaker would not be liable apart from that subsection and which is sustained—

(a)by [F5the Environment Agency], a relevant undertaker or any statutory undertakers, within the meaning of section 336(1) of the M1Town and Country Planning Act 1990;

(b)by any public gas supplier within the meaning of Part I of the M2Gas Act 1986 or the holder of a licence under section 6(1) of the M3ElectricityAct 1989;

(c)by any highway authority; or

(d)by any person on whom a right to compensation is conferred by section 82 of the M4New Roads and Street Works Act 1991.

(4)The M5Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945, the M6Fatal Accidents Act 1976 and the M7Limitation Act 1980 shall apply in relation to any loss or damage for which a water undertaker is liable under this section, but which is not due to the undertaker’s fault, as if it were due to its fault.

(5)Nothing in subsection (1) above affects any entitlement which a water undertaker may have to recover contribution under the M8Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978; and for the purposes of that Act, any loss for which a water undertaker is liable under that subsection shall be treated as if it were damage.

(6)Where a water undertaker is liable under any enactment or agreement passed or made before 1st April 1982 to make any payment in respect of any loss or damage the undertaker shall not incur liability under subsection (1) above in respect of the same loss or damage.

(7)In this section “fault” has the same meaning as in the M9Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945.

(8)Until the coming into force of section 82 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, subsection (3) above shall have effect as if for paragraph (d) there were substituted the following paragraphs—

(d)by any bridge authority, bridge managers, street authority or street managers within the meaning of the Public Utilities Street Works Act 1950; or

(e)by any person on whom a right to compensation under section 26 of that Act of 1950 is conferred.;but nothing in this section shall be taken to prejudice the power of the Secretary of State under that Act of 1991 to make an order bringing section 82 of that Act into force on different days for different purposes (including the purposes of this section).

Textual Amendments

F5Words in s. 209(3)(a) substituted (1.4.1996) by 1995 c. 25, s. 120(1), Sch. 22 para. 122 (with ss. 7(6), 115, 117); S.I. 1996/186, art. 3

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Marginal Citations

[F6209A Rights of tenants in relation to metering.E+W

(1)Subject to subsection (3) below, no express or implied term of any tenancy is to be regarded—

(a)as excluding or restricting the exercise by the tenant of any right to give—

(i)a measured charges notice under section 144A above, or

(ii)any consent for the purposes of section 144B(2)(a)(ii) above,

(b)as preventing the installation or connection, in pursuance of such a notice or consent given by the tenant, of a meter for use in determining the charges which may be fixed in relation to water supplied to the premises comprised in the tenancy, or

(c)as requiring any consent to be obtained in relation to such installation or connection.

(2)In subsection (1) above “tenancy” includes a licence which is treated as a tenancy by virtue of section 79(3) of M10the Housing Act 1985; and references to a “tenant” are to be construed accordingly.

(3)Subsection (1) above does not apply where the tenancy is a fixed term tenancy for a term of less than six months; and for this purpose “fixed term tenancy” means any tenancy other than a periodic tenancy.]

Textual Amendments

F6S. 209A inserted (1.4.2000) by 1999 c. 11, s. 11; S.I. 1999/3440, art. 3

Marginal Citations

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