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Water Industry Act 1991

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73 Offences of contaminating, wasting and misusing water etc.E+W

(1)If any person who is the owner or occupier of any premises to which a supply of water is provided by a water undertaker [F1or licensed water supplier] intentionally or negligently causes or suffers any water fitting for which he is responsible to be or remain so out of order, so in need of repair or so constructed or adapted, or to be so used—

(a)that water in a water main or other pipe of a water undertaker, or in a pipe connected with such a water main or pipe, is or is likely to be contaminated by the return of any substance from those premises to that main or pipe;

(b)that water that has been supplied by the undertaker [F2or supplier] to those premises is or is likely to be contaminated before it is used; or

(c)that water so supplied is or is likely to be wasted or, having regard to the purposes for which it is supplied, misused or unduly consumed,

that person shall be guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

[F3(1A)In any proceedings under subsection (1) above it shall be a defence to prove–

(a)that the contamination or likely contamination, or the wastage, misuse or undue consumption, was caused (wholly or mainly) by the installation, alteration, repair or connection of the water fitting on or after 1st July 1999;

(b)that the works were carried out by or under the direction of an approved contractor within the meaning of the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999; and

(c)that the contractor certified to the person who commissioned those works that the water fitting complied with the requirements of those regulations.]

(2)Any person who uses any water supplied to any premises by a water undertaker for a purpose other than one for which it is supplied to those premises shall, unless the other purpose is the extinguishment of a fire, be guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

(3)Where a person has committed an offence under subsection (2) above, the water undertaker in question shall be entitled to recover from that person such amount as may be reasonable in respect of any water wasted, misused or improperly consumed in consequence of the commission of the offence.

(4)For the purposes of this section the owner or occupier of any premises shall be regarded as responsible for every water fitting on the premises which is not a water fitting which a person other than the owner or, as the case may be, occupier is liable to maintain.

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