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Water Industry Act 1991

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70 Offence of supplying water unfit for human consumption.E+W

(1)Subject to subsection (3) below, where a [F1water undertaker’s supply system is used for the purposes of supplying water] to any premises and that water is unfit for human consumption, [F2the relevant persons] shall be guilty of an offence and liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding [F3£20,000] ;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to a fine.

[F4(1A)For the purposes of subsection (1) above, the relevant persons are—

(a)the water undertaker whose supply system is used for the purposes of supplying the water (in this section referred to as the “primary water undertaker”); and

(b)any employer of persons, or any self-employed person, who is concerned in the supply of the water.]

(2)For the purposes of section 210 below and any other enactment under which an individual is guilty of an offence by virtue of subsection (1) above the penalty on conviction on indictment of an offence under this section shall be deemed to include imprisonment (in addition to or instead of a fine) for a term not exceeding two years.

(3)In any proceedings against any [F5relevant person] for an offence under this section it shall be a defence for [F6that person] to show that it—

(a)had no reasonable grounds for suspecting that the water would be used for human consumption; or

(b)took all reasonable steps and exercised all due diligence for securing that the water was fit for human consumption on leaving [F7the primary water undertaker's] pipes or was not used for human consumption.

[F8(3A)For the purposes of paragraph (b) of subsection (3) above—

(a)in the case of proceedings against a primary water undertaker, showing that the undertaker took all reasonable steps and exercised all due diligence as mentioned in that paragraph includes (among other things) showing that the relevant arrangements were reasonable in all the circumstances; and

(b)in the case of proceedings against any other relevant person, showing that the person took all reasonable steps and exercised all due diligence as mentioned in that paragraph includes (among other things) showing that it took all reasonable steps and exercised all due diligence for securing that all aspects of the relevant arrangements for which it was responsible were properly carried out.

(3B)In subsection (3A) above, “relevant arrangements” means arrangements made by the primary water undertaker to ensure that all other relevant persons were required to take all reasonable steps and exercise all due diligence for securing that the water was fit for human consumption on leaving the undertaker’s pipes or was not used for human consumption.]

(4)Proceedings for an offence under this section shall not be instituted except by the Secretary of State or the Director of Public Prosecutions.

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