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Water Industry Act 1991

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68 Duties of water undertakers [F1and licensed water suppliers] with respect to water quality.E+W

(1)It shall be the duty of a water undertaker [F2where its supply system is used for the purpose of supplying water to any premises for domestic or food production purposes]

(a)[F3to ensure that any water so supplied] is wholesome at the time of supply; and

(b)so far as reasonably practicable, to ensure, in relation to each source or combination of sources from which [F4water is so supplied] , that there is, in general, no deterioration in the quality of the water which is supplied from time to time from that source or combination of sources.

[F5and this section and section 69 below apply, in relation to the duty of an undertaker, whether or not the water supplied using the undertaker’s supply system is supplied by the undertaker.]

[F6(1A)It shall be the duty of a licensed water supplier—

(a)when supplying water to any premises for domestic or food production purposes, in accordance with its retail authorisation, to ensure that the water is wholesome at the time of supply; and

(b)so far as reasonably practicable, to ensure, in relation to each source or combination of sources from which that supplier supplies water to premises for domestic or food production purposes, in accordance with its retail authorisation, that there is, in general, no deterioration in the quality of the water which is supplied from time to time from that source or combination of sources,

and references in this subsection to the retail authorisation shall be construed in accordance with section 17A(2) above.]

(2)For the purposes of this section and section 69 below and subject to subsection (3) below, [F7where a water undertaker’s supply system is used for the purpose of supplying water to any premises, any water so supplied] to any premises shall not be regarded as unwholesome at the time of supply where it has ceased to be wholesome only after leaving the undertaker’s pipes.

(3)For the purposes of [F8subsection (1) above where a water undertaker’s supply system is used for the purpose of supplying water to any premises, and the water so supplied] would not otherwise be regarded as unwholesome at the time of supply, that water shall be regarded as unwholesome at that time if—

(a)it has ceased to be wholesome after leaving the undertaker’s pipes but while in a pipe which is subject to water pressure from a water main or which would be so subject but for the closing of some valve; and

(b)it has so ceased in consequence of the failure of the undertaker, before [F9the water is supplied, to ensure that such steps are taken] as may be prescribed for the purpose of securing the elimination, or reduction to a minimum, of any prescribed risk that the water would cease to be wholesome after leaving the undertaker’s pipes.

[F10(3A)For the purposes of subsection (1A) above where water supplied by a licensed water supplier to any premises would not otherwise be regarded as unwholesome at the time of supply, that water shall be regarded as unwholesome at that time if—

(a)it has ceased to be wholesome after leaving the relevant pipes but while in a pipe which is subject to water pressure from a water main or which would be so subject but for the closing of some valve; and

(b)it has so ceased in consequence of the failure of the supplier, before supplying the water, to ensure that such steps are taken as may be prescribed for the purpose of securing the elimination, or reduction to a minimum, of any prescribed risk that the water would cease to be wholesome after leaving the relevant pipes.

(3B)In subsection (3A) above “relevant pipes” means the pipes of the water undertaker whose supply system is used for the purpose of the supply made by the licensed water supplier.]

(4)The provisions of this section shall apply in relation to water which is supplied by a water undertaker whether or not the water is water which the undertaker is required to supply by virtue of any provision of this Act.

(5)The duties of a water undertaker [F11and licensed water supplier] under this section shall be enforceable under section 18 above by the Secretary of State.

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