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Explanatory Memorandum to Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006

Part Xii – Miscellaneous and Supplemental

160.This Part deals with a number of miscellaneous and general matters.

161.Articles 292 and 293 restate provisions which set out the constitution and procedures of the Water Appeals Commission (formerly contained in the Water and Sewerage Services (NI) Order 1973 – which is repealed). The Appeals Commission is a small, independent body which deals with appeals on a variety of water, sewerage, drainage and fisheries matters.  The majority of the Appeals Commission’s functions in relation to water and sewerage services have been taken over by the Authority but the Appeals Commission retains its roles under other legislation.

162.Articles 294 and 295 enable the Secretary of State, for the purposes of national security, and the Department, for the purposes of civil emergencies, to give directions to an undertaker and the Consumer Council following consultation with them.  Both bodies are required to comply with any directions.

163.Article 296 abolishes the Northern Ireland Water Council. The advisory functions of the Council will be superseded by the new regulatory regime.

164.Article 297 enables the Department to make regulations concerning the safety of reservoirs.

165.Article 298 sets out the undertaker’s general civil liability for loss or damage caused by the escape of water from the undertaker’s pipes.  Unless the person suffering the loss caused the damage, the undertaker is liable – even if the escape of water was not its fault – though it can recover contributions from others who may have liability.  There are exceptions in respect of liability owed to other utilities and Departments.

166.Article 299 states that only the undertaker, an enforcement authority (the Department or the Authority) and an aggrieved person may take proceedings for various offences in the Order without the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland.  The Article also places time limits on the prosecution of summary offences under the Order.

167.Articles 300-308 make other general provisions about the Order. These deal with regulations, directions, and forms under the Order and other technical matters.  Article 303 gives the Department a general power to hold inquiries and Article 307 sets out how the Order’s provisions apply to the Crown – in general they do.


168.The Schedules to the Order are listed below. Their contents are described, where appropriate, in the main part of the Order to which they relate.

Schedule 1: Transitional provision on termination of appointments

Schedule 2: Premises not to be disconnected for non-payment of charges

Schedule 3: Procedure for orders relating to pressure and constancy

Schedule 4: Rights of entry

Schedule 5: Proceedings on application for a drought order

Schedule 6: Compensation in respect of drought orders

Schedule 7: Compulsory acquisition of land

Schedule 8: Procedure relating to byelaws under Article 218

Schedule 9: Orders conferring compulsory works powers

Schedule 10: Protective provisions in respect of certain undertakings

Schedule 11: The transfer scheme

Schedule 12: Amendments

Schedule 13: Repeals

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