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Water Industry Act 1991

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75 Power to prevent damage and to take steps to prevent contamination, waste etc.E+W

(1)Without prejudice to any power conferred on water undertakers by regulations under section 74 above, where a water undertaker which provides a supply of water to any premises has reason for believing—

(a)that damage to persons or property is being or is likely to be caused by any damage to, or defect in, any water fitting used in connection with the supply of water to those premises which is not a service pipe belonging to the undertaker;

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

(c)that water which is in any pipe connected with any such main or other pipe or which has been supplied by the undertaker to those premises is being or is likely to be contaminated before it is used; or

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

the undertaker may exercise the power conferred by subsection (2) below in relation to those premises.

[F1(1A)Without prejudice to any power conferred on water undertakers by regulations under section 74 above, where a water undertaker whose supply system is used for the purpose of a licensed water supplier making a supply of water to any premises has reason for believing—

(a)that damage to persons or property is being or is likely to be caused by any damage to, or defect in, any water fitting used in connection with the supply of water to those premises which is not a service pipe belonging to the water undertaker;

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

(c)that water which is in any pipe connected with any such main or other pipe or which has been supplied by the supplier to those premises is being or is likely to be contaminated before it is used; or

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

the undertaker may exercise the power conferred by subsection (2) below in relation to those premises.]

(2)The power conferred by this subsection in relation to any premises is—

(a)where the case constitutes an emergency, power to disconnect the service pipe or otherwise to cut off the supply of water to those premises; and

(b)in any other case, power to serve notice on the consumer requiring him to take such steps as may be specified in the notice as necessary to secure that the damage, contamination, waste, misuse or undue consumption ceases or, as the case may be, does not occur.

(3)Where a water undertaker, in exercise of the power conferred by virtue of subsection (2)(a) above, disconnects a service pipe to any premises or otherwise cuts off any supply of water to any premises, the undertaker shall, as soon as reasonably practicable after the supply is disconnected or cut off, serve a notice on the consumer specifying the steps which that person is required to take before the undertaker will restore the supply.

(4)The steps specified in a notice under subsection (3) above shall be the steps necessary to secure that, as the case may be—

(a)the damage, contamination, waste, misuse or undue consumption; or

(b)the likelihood of damage, contamination, waste, misuse or undue consumption,

would not recur if the supply were restored.

(5)A water undertaker which fails, without reasonable excuse, to serve a notice in accordance with subsection (3) above shall be guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

(6)A notice served for the purposes of subsection (2)(b) above shall—

(a)specify the period, not being less than the period of seven days beginning with the day after the service of the notice, within which the steps specified in the notice are to be taken; and

(b)set out the powers of the undertaker under subsections (7) to (9) below.

(7)Where a water undertaker has served a notice for the purposes of subsection (2)(b) above in relation to any premises and—

(a)the case becomes an emergency; or

(b)the premises appear to be unoccupied and the steps specified in the notice are not taken before the end of the period so specified,

the undertaker may disconnect the service pipe to those premises or otherwise cut off the supply of water to those premises.

(8)Subsections (3) to (5) above shall apply where a water undertaker exercises its power under subsection (7) above as they apply where such an undertaker exercises its power by virtue of subsection (2)(a) above.

(9)Where, in a case not falling within subsection (7)(a) or (b) above, any steps specified in a notice served by a water undertaker for the purposes of subsection (2)(b) above have not been taken by the end of the period so specified, the water undertaker shall have power—

(a)to take those steps itself; and

(b)subject to subsection (10) below, to recover any expenses reasonably incurred by the undertaker in taking those steps from the person on whom the notice was served;

and any steps taken by a water undertaker by virtue of paragraph (a) above shall be necessary works for the purposes of Chapter II of this Part.

(10)Where any steps are taken by virtue of this section and it is shown that, in the circumstances of the case, those steps were not necessary as mentioned in subsection (2) or, as the case may be, (4) above, the water undertaker in question-

(a)shall not be entitled to recover any expenses incurred by it in taking those steps; and

(b)shall be liable to pay to any other person who took any of those steps an amount equal to any expenses reasonably incurred by that person in taking any of those steps.

[F2(11)Where the power conferred by subsection (2) above on a water undertaker is exercisable by virtue of subsection (1A) above—

(a)the references to the consumer in subsections (2) and (3), in relation to a supply of water to any premises, shall be taken to be references to the person in respect of whom the supply is made; and

(b)the undertaker shall serve on the licensed water supplier providing the supply a copy of any notice under this section which is served on the person mentioned in paragraph (a) above.

(12)In subsection (1A) above, the reference to the supply system of a water undertaker shall be construed in accordance with section 17B(5) above.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F2S. 75(11)(12) inserted (1.12.2005) by Water Act 2003 (c. 37), ss. 101(1), 105(3), Sch. 8 para. 24(3); S.I 2005/2714, {art. 3(c)} (with Sch. para. 8)

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