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Water Industry Act 1991 (c. 56)

(The document as of February, 2008)

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Water Industry Act 1991 (c. 56)

1991 CHAPTER 56

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Content
  1. Part I

    Preliminary

    1. The Director General of Water Services

      1. 1. The Director General of Water Services.

    2. General duties

      1. 2. General duties with respect to water industry.

      2. 3. General environmental and recreational duties.

      3. 4. Environmental duties with respect to sites of special interest.

      4. 5. Codes of practice with respect to environmental and recreational duties.

  2. Part II

    Appointment and Regulation of Undertakers

    1. Chapter I

      Appointments

      1. Making of appointments

        1. 6. Appointment of relevant undertakers.

        2. 7. Continuity of appointments, replacement appointments etc.

        3. 8. Procedure with respect to appointments and variations.

        4. 9. Duties affecting making of appointments and variations.

        5. 10. Transitional provision with respect to replacement appointments.

      2. Conditions of appointments

        1. 11. Power to impose conditions.

        2. 12. Determinations under conditions of appointment.

      3. Modification of appointment conditions

        1. 13. Modification by agreement.

        2. 14. Modification references to Monopolies Commission.

        3. 15. Reports on modification references.

        4. 16. Modification following report.

        5. 17. Modification by order under other enactments.

    2. Chapter II

      Enforcement and Insolvency

      1. Enforcement orders

        1. 18. Orders for securing compliance with certain provisions.

        2. 19. Exceptions to duty to enforce.

        3. 20. Procedure for enforcement orders.

        4. 21. Validity of enforcement orders.

        5. 22. Effect of enforcement order.

      2. Special administration orders

        1. 23. Meaning and effect of special administration order.

        2. 24. Special administration orders made on special petitions.

        3. 25. Power to make special administration order on winding-up petition.

      3. Restrictions on voluntary winding up and insolvency proceedings

        1. 26. Restrictions on voluntary winding up and insolvency proceedings.

    3. Chapter III

      Protection of Customers etc.

      1. General provisions

        1. 27. General duty of Director to keep matters under review.

        2. 28. Customer service committees.

        3. 29. Duties of customer service committees.

        4. 30. Duties of Director with respect to complaints

      2. Provisions with respect to competition

        1. 31. Functions of Director with respect to competition.

        2. 32. Duty to refer merger of water or sewerage undertakings.

        3. 33. Exclusion of small mergers from duty to make merger reference.

        4. 34. References with respect to water enterprise mergers.

        5. 35. Construction of merger provisions.

    4. Chapter IV

      Interpretation of Part II

      1. 36. Interpretation of Part II.

  3. Part III

    Water Supply

    1. Chapter I

      General Duties of Water Undertakers

      1. 37. General duty to maintain water supply system etc.

      2. 38. Standards of performance in connection with water supply.

      3. 39. Procedure for regulations under section 38.

    2. Chapter II

      Supply Duties

      1. Major supplies

        1. 40. Bulk supplies.

        2. 41. Duty to comply with water main requisition.

        3. 42. Financial conditions of compliance.

        4. 43. Calculation of "relevant deficit" for the purposes of section 42.

        5. 44. Determination of completion date and route for requisitioned main.

      2. Domestic connections

        1. 45. Duty to make connections with main.

        2. 46. Duty to carry out ancillary works for the purpose of making domestic connection.

        3. 47. Conditions of connection with water main.

        4. 48. Interest on sums deposited in pursuance of the deposit condition.

        5. 49. Supplemental provisions with respect to the metering conditions.

        6. 50. Restriction on imposition of condition requiring separate service pipes.

        7. 51. Time for performance of connection etc. duties.

      3. Domestic supplies

        1. 52. The domestic supply duty.

        2. 53. Conditions of compliance with domestic supply duty.

        3. 54. Enforcement of domestic supply duty.

      4. Other supplies

        1. 55. Supplies for non-domestic purposes.

        2. 56. Determinations on requests for non-domestic supplies.

        3. 57. Duty to provide a supply of water etc. for fire-fighting.

        4. 58. Specially requested fire-hydrants.

        5. 59. Supplies for other public purposes.

      5. Disconnections

        1. 60. Disconnections for the carrying out of necessary works.

        2. 61. Disconnections for non-payment of charges.

        3. 62. Disconnections at request of customer.

        4. 63. General duties of undertakers with respect to disconnections.

      6. Means of supply

        1. 64. Supply by means of separate service pipes.

        2. 65. Duties of undertakers as respects constancy and pressure.

        3. 66. Requirements by undertaker for maintaining pressure.

    3. Chapter III

      Quality and Sufficiency of Supplies

      1. Standards of wholesomeness

        1. 67. Standards of wholesomeness.

      2. General obligations of undertakers

        1. 68. Duties of water undertakers with respect to water quality.

        2. 69. Regulations for preserving water quality.

        3. 70. Offence of supplying water unfit for human consumption.

      3. Waste, contamination, misuse etc.

        1. 71. Waste from water sources.

        2. 72. Contamination of water sources.

        3. 73. Offences of contaminating, wasting and misusing water etc.

        4. 74. Regulations for preventing contamination, waste etc. and with respect to water fittings.

        5. 75. Power to prevent damage and to take steps to prevent contamination, waste etc.

        6. 76. Temporary hosepipe bans.

      4. Local authority functions

        1. 77. General functions of local authorities in relation to water quality.

        2. 78. Local authority functions in relation to undertakers' supplies.

        3. 79. Local authority functions where piped supplies insufficient or unwholesome.

        4. 80. Remedial powers of local authorities in relation to private supplies.

        5. 81. Confirmation of private supply notices.

        6. 82. Enforcement and variation of private supply notice.

        7. 83. Application of certain powers to local authorities in relation to private supplies.

        8. 84. Local authority rights of entry etc.

        9. 85. Local authority power to obtain information for the purposes of functions under Chapter III.

      5. Assessors for the enforcement of water quality

        1. 86. Assessors for the enforcement of water quality.

    4. Chapter IV

      Fluoridation

      1. 87. Fluoridation of water supplies at request of health authorities.

      2. 88. Power to vary permitted fluoridation agents.

      3. 89. Publicity and consultation.

      4. 90. Indemnities in respect of fluoridation.

      5. 91. Pre-1985 fluoridation schemes.

    5. Chapter V

      Supplemental Provisions of Part III

      1. 92. Power to give effect to international obligations.

      2. 93. Interpretation of Part III.

  4. Part IV

    Sewerage Services

    1. Chapter I

      General Functions of Sewerage Undertakers

      1. Principal duties and standards of performance

        1. 94. General duty to provide sewerage system.

        2. 95. Standards of performance in connection with provision of sewerage services.

        3. 96. Procedure for regulations under section 95.

      2. Performance of sewerage undertaker's functions by local authorities etc.

        1. 97. Performance of sewerage undertaker's functions by local authorities etc.

    2. Chapter II

      Provision of Sewerage Services

      1. Requisition of public sewer

        1. 98. Duty to comply with sewer requisition.

        2. 99. Financial conditions of compliance.

        3. 100. Calculation of "relevant deficit" for the purposes of section 99.

        4. 101. Determination of completion date and route for requisitioned sewer.

      2. Adoption etc. of sewers and disposal works

        1. 102. Adoption of sewers and disposal works.

        2. 103. Adoption of cross-border sewers etc.

        3. 104. Agreements to adopt sewer, drain or sewage disposal works, at future date

        4. 105. Appeals with respect to adoption.

      3. Communication of drains and private sewers with public sewers

        1. 106. Right to communicate with public sewers.

        2. 107. Right of sewerage undertaker to undertake the making of communications with public sewers.

        3. 108. Communication works by person entitled to communication.

        4. 109. Unlawful communications.

      4. Connections between public sewers

        1. 110. Determination of disputes with respect to cross boundary sewers.

      5. Provisions protecting sewerage system

        1. 111. Restrictions on use of public sewers.

        2. 112. Requirement that proposed drain or sewer be constructed so as to form part of general system.

        3. 113. Power to alter drainage system of premises in area.

        4. 114. Power to investigate defective drain or sewer.

      6. Use of pipes for sewerage purposes

        1. 115. Use of highway drains as sewers and vice versa.

        2. 116. Power to close or restrict use of public sewer.

      7. Interpretation of Chapter II

        1. 117. Interpretation of Chapter II.

    3. Chapter III

      Trade Effluent

      1. Consent for discharge of trade effluent into public sewer

        1. 118. Consent required for discharge of trade effluent into public sewer.

      2. Consents on an application

        1. 119. Application for consent.

        2. 120. Applications for the discharge of special category effluent.

        3. 121. Conditions of consent.

        4. 122. Appeals to the Director with respect to decisions on applications etc.

        5. 123. Appeals with respect to the discharge of special category effluent.

        6. 124. Variation of consents.

        7. 125. Variations within time limit.

        8. 126. Appeals with respect to variations of consent.

        9. 127. Review by the Secretary of State of consents relating to special category effluent.

      3. Application for variation of time for discharge

        1. 128. Application for variation of time for discharge.

      4. Agreements with respect the disposal etc. of trade effluent

        1. 129. Agreements with respect to the disposal etc of trade effluent.

        2. 130. Reference to the Secretary of State of agreements relating to special category effluent.

        3. 131. Review by the Secretary of State of agreements relating to special category effluent.

      5. References and reviews relating to special category effluent

        1. 132. Powers and procedure on references and reviews.

        2. 133. Effect of determination on reference or review.

        3. 134. Compensation in respect of determinations made for the protection of public health etc.

      6. Supplemental provisions of Chapter III

        1. 135. Restrictions on power to fix charges under Chapter III.

        2. 136. Evidence from meters etc.

        3. 137. Statement of case on appeal.

        4. 138. Meaning of "special category effluent".

        5. 139. Power to apply Chapter III to other effluents.

        6. 140. Pre-1989 Act authority for trade effluent discharges etc.

      7. Interpretation of Chapter III

        1. 141. Interpretation of Chapter III.

  5. Part V

    Financial Provisions

    1. Chapter I

      Charges

      1. Manner of fixing charges

        1. 142. Powers of undertakers to charge.

        2. 143. Charges schemes.

        3. 144. Liability of occupiers etc. for charges.

      2. General restrictions on charging

        1. 145. Charging by reference to rateable value.

        2. 146. Connection charges etc. and charges for highway drainage.

        3. 147. Charging for emergency use of water.

      3. Metering

        1. 148. Restriction on charging for metering works.

        2. 149. Further provision relating to charging by volume.

      4. Charging for services provided with the help of an undertaker

        1. 150. Fixing maximum charges for services provided with the help of undertakers' services.

    2. Chapter II

      Financial Assistance for Undertakers

      1. 151. Financial contributions to rural services.

      2. 152. Grants for national security purposes.

      3. 153. Government financial assistance where special administration orders made.

      4. 154. Guarantees under section 153.

  6. Part VI

    Undertakers' Powers and Works

    1. Chapter I

      Undertakers' Powers

      1. Powers in relation to land

        1. 155. Compulsory purchase.

        2. 156. Restriction on disposals of land.

        3. 157. Byelaws with respect to undertakers' waterways and land.

      2. Pipe-laying

        1. 158. Powers to lay pipes in streets.

        2. 159. Power to lay pipes in other land.

      3. Other works powers

        1. 160. Power to carry out works for sewerage purposes.

        2. 161. Power to deal with foul water and pollution.

        3. 162. Works in connection with metering.

        4. 163. Power to fit stopcocks.

        5. 164. Agreements for works with respect to water sources.

      4. Powers to discharge water

        1. 165. Discharges for works purposes.

        2. 166. Consents for certain discharges under section 165.

      5. Compulsory works orders

        1. 167. Compulsory works orders.

      6. Entry to land etc. by water undertakers

        1. 168. Entry for works purposes.

        2. 169. Power to carry out surveys and to search for water.

        3. 170. Entry etc. for other purposes.

        4. 171. Entry for sewerage purposes.

        5. 172. Entry for metering purposes.

        6. 173. Impersonation of persons entitled to entry.

    2. Chapter II

      Protection of Undertakers' Works, Apparatus etc.

      1. Protection of apparatus in general

        1. 174. Offences of interference with works etc.

      2. Protection of meters

        1. 175. Offence of tampering with meter.

        2. 176. Consent for the purposes of section 175.

        3. 177. Financial obligations with respect to any interference with a meter.

      3. Obstruction of sewerage works etc.

        1. 178. Obstruction of sewerage works etc.

    3. Chapter III

      Supplemental Provisions with respect to Undertakers' Powers

      1. Vesting of works in undertaker

        1. 179. Vesting of works in undertaker.

      2. Damage etc. caused by works

        1. 180. Compensation for damage caused by works etc.

        2. 181. Complaints with respect to the exercise of works powers on private land.

        3. 182. Codes of practice with respect to work on private land.

      3. Protective provisions

        1. 183. Protection for particular undertakings.

        2. 184. Power of certain undertakers to alter public sewers etc.

        3. 185. Duty to move pipes etc. in certain cases.

        4. 186. Protective provisions in respect of flood defence works and watercourses etc.

        5. 187. Works in tidal lands etc.

        6. 188. Mineral rights.

        7. 189. Power to sell minerals deriving from sewerage works.

        8. 190. Saving for planning controls.

        9. 191. Duties to make recreational facilities available when building reservoirs in Wales.

      4. Interpretation of Part VI

        1. 192. Interpretation of Part VI.

  7. Part VII

    Information Provisions

    1. Reports

      1. 193. Reports by Director.

      2. 194. Reports by customer service committees.

    2. Registers, maps etc.

      1. 195. The Director's register.

      2. 196. Trade effluent registers.

      3. 197. Register for the purposes of works discharges.

      4. 198. Maps of waterworks.

      5. 199. Sewer maps.

      6. 200. Provision of sewer maps to local authorities.

    3. Publication of certain information and advice

      1. 201. Publication of certain information and advice.

    4. Powers to acquire and duties to provide information

      1. 202. Duties of undertakers to furnish the Secretary of State with information.

      2. 203. Power to acquire information for enforcement purposes.

      3. 204. Provision of information to sewerage undertakers with respect to trade effluent discharges.

      4. 205. Exchange of metering information between undertakers.

    5. Restriction on disclosure of information

      1. 206. Restriction on disclosure of information.

    6. Provision of false information

      1. 207. Provision of false information.

  8. Part VIII

    Miscellaneous and Supplemental

    1. Miscellaneous

      1. 208. Directions in the interests of national security.

      2. 209. Civil liability of undertakers for escapes of water etc.

    2. Offences

      1. 210. Offences by bodies corporate.

      2. 211. Limitation on right to prosecute in respect of sewerage offences.

    3. Judicial disqualification

      1. 212. Judicial disqualification.

    4. Powers to make regulations

      1. 213. Powers to make regulations.

      2. 214. Power to prescribe forms.

    5. Local inquiries

      1. 215. Local inquiries.

    6. Construction of Act

      1. 216. Provisions relating to the service of documents.

      2. 217. Construction of provision conferring powers by reference to undertakers' functions.

      3. 218. Meaning of "domestic purposes" in relation to water supply.

      4. 219. General interpretation.

      5. 220. Effect of local Acts.

    7. Other supplemental provisions

      1. 221. Crown application.

      2. 222. Application to Isles of Scilly.

      3. 223. Short title, commencement and extent.

  9. SCHEDULES:

    1. Schedule 1

      The Director General of Water Services.

    2. Schedule 2

      Transitional Provision on Termination of Appointments.

    3. Schedule 3

      Special Administration Orders.

      1. Part I

        Modifications of the 1986 Act.

      2. Part II

        Supplemental.

    4. Schedule 4

      Customer Service Committees.

    5. Schedule 5

      Procedure for Orders relating to Pressure and Constancy of Supply.

    6. Schedule 6

      Supplemental Provisions relating to Rights of Entry.

      1. Part I

        Rights requiring Notice for Entry to Non-business Premises.

      2. Part II

        Other Rights of Entry and related Powers.

    7. Schedule 7

      Pre-1985 Fluoridation Schemes.

    8. Schedule 8

      Pre-1989 Act Transitional Authority for Trade Effluent Discharges etc.

    9. Schedule 9

      Modification of Compensation Provisions etc. in relation to the Creation of New Rights.

    10. Schedule 10

      Procedure relating to Byelaws under Section 157.

    11. Schedule 11

      Orders conferring Compulsory Works Powers.

    12. Schedule 12

      Compensation etc. in respect of pipe-laying and other works powers.

    13. Schedule 13

      Protective Provisions in respect of Certain Undertakings.

      1. Part I

        Provisions applying Generally.

      2. Part II

        Further Protective Provisions in respect of Sewerage Powers.

    14. Schedule 14

      Mineral Rights.

    15. Schedule 15

      Disclosure of Information.

      1. Part I

        Persons in respect of whose Functions Disclosure may be made.

      2. Part II

        Enactments etc. in respect of which Disclosure may be made.

An Act to consolidate enactments relating to the supply of water and the provision of sewerage services, with amendments to give effect to recommendations of the Law Commission.

[25th July 1991]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:--



Part I Preliminary

The Director General of Water Services

1 The Director General of Water Services

(1) There shall continue to be an officer known as the Director General of Water Services (in this Act referred to as "the Director") for the purpose of carrying out the functions of that Director under this Act.

(2) Appointment of any person to hold office as the Director shall be made by the Secretary of State.

(3) An appointment of a person to hold office as the Director shall be for a term not exceeding five years; but previous appointment to that office shall not affect eligibility for re-appointment.

(4) The Director may at any time resign his office as the Director by notice addressed to the Secretary of State; and the Secretary of State may remove any person from that office on the ground of incapacity or misbehaviour.

(5) Subject to the preceding provisions of this section, the Director shall hold and vacate office as such in accordance with the terms of his appointment.

(6) The provisions of Schedule 1 to this Act shall have effect with respect to the Director.



General duties

2 General duties with respect to water industry

(1) This section shall have effect for imposing duties on the Secretary of State and on the Director as to when and how they should exercise and perform the following powers and duties, that is to say--

(a) in the case of the Secretary of State, the powers and duties conferred or imposed on him by virtue of the provisions of this Act relating to the regulation of relevant undertakers; and

(b) in the case of the Director, the powers and duties conferred or imposed on him by virtue of any of those provisions, by the provisions relating to the financial conditions of requisitions or by the provisions relating to the movement of certain pipes.

(2) The Secretary of State or, as the case may be, the Director shall exercise and perform the powers and duties mentioned in subsection (1) above in the manner that he considers is best calculated--

(a) to secure that the functions of a water undertaker and of a sewerage undertaker are properly carried out as respects every area of England and Wales; and

(b) without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (a) above, to secure that companies holding appointments under Chapter I of Part II of this Act as relevant undertakers are able (in particular, by securing reasonable returns on their capital) to finance the proper carrying out of the functions of such undertakers.

(3) Subject to subsection (2) above, the Secretary of State or, as the case may be, the Director shall exercise and perform the powers and duties mentioned in subsection (1) above in the manner that he considers is best calculated--

(a) to ensure that the interests of every person who is a customer or potential customer of a company which has been or may be appointed under Chapter I of Part II of this Act to be a relevant undertaker are protected as respects the fixing and recovery by that company of water and drainage charges and, in particular--

(i) that the interests of customers and potential customers in rural areas are so protected; and

(ii) that no undue preference is shown, and that there is no undue discrimination, in the fixing of those charges;

(b) to ensure that the interests of every such person are also protected as respects the other terms on which any services are provided by that company in the course of the carrying out of the functions of a relevant undertaker and as respects the quality of those services;

(c) to ensure that the interests of every such person are further protected as respects benefits that could be secured for them by the application in a particular manner of any of the proceeds of any disposal (including a disposal before the Secretary of State and the Director became subject to the duties imposed by virtue of this paragraph) of any of that company's protected land or of any interest or right in or over any of that land;

(d) to promote economy and efficiency on the part of any such company in the carrying out of the functions of a relevant undertaker; and

(e) to facilitate effective competition, with respect to such matters as he considers appropriate, between persons holding or seeking appointments under that Chapter.

(4) In performing his duty under subsection (3) above, so far as it requires him to do anything in the manner which he considers is best calculated to ensure that the interests of the customers and potential customers of any company are protected as respects the quality of any services provided by that company in the course of the carrying out of the functions of a relevant undertaker, the Secretary of State or, as the case may be, the Director shall take into account, in particular, the interests of those who are disabled or of pensionable age.

(5) In this section the references to water and drainage charges are references to--

(a) any charges in respect of any services provided in the course of the carrying out of the functions of a relevant undertaker; and

(b) amounts of any other description which such an undertaker is authorised by or under any enactment to require any of its customers or potential customers to pay.

(6) For the purposes of this section--

(a) the reference in subsection (1) above to the provisions of this Act relating to the regulation of relevant undertakers is a reference to the provisions contained in Part II of this Act (except section 28 and Schedule 4), or in any of sections 38, 39, 95, 96, 153, 181, 182, 193 to 195 and 201 to 203 below;

(b) the reference in that subsection to the provisions relating to the financial conditions of requisitions is a reference to the provisions contained in sections 42, 43, 48, 99 and 100 below; and

(c) the reference in that subsection to the provisions relating to the movement of certain pipes is a reference to the provisions of section 185 below.

3 General environmental and recreational duties

(1) It shall be the duty of each of the following, that is to say--

(a) the Secretary of State;

(b) the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food;

(c) the Director; and

(d) every company holding an appointment as a relevant undertaker,

in formulating or considering any proposals relating to any functions of a relevant undertaker (including, in the case of such a company, any functions which, by virtue of that appointment, are functions of the company itself) to comply with the requirements imposed in relation to the proposals by subsections (2) and (3) below.

(2) The requirements imposed by this subsection in relation to any such proposals as are mentioned in subsection (1) above are--

(a) a requirement, so far as may be consistent--

(i) with the purposes of any enactment relating to the functions of the undertaker; and

(ii) in the case of the Secretary of State and the Director, with their duties under section 2 above,

so to exercise any power conferred with respect to the proposals on the person subject to the requirement as to further the conservation and enhancement of natural beauty and the conservation of flora, fauna and geological or physiographical features of special interest;

(b) a requirement to have regard to the desirability of protecting and conserving buildings, sites and objects of archaeological, architectural or historic interest; and

(c) a requirement to take into account any effect which the proposals would have on the beauty or amenity of any rural or urban area or on any such flora, fauna, features, buildings, sites or objects.

(3) The requirements imposed by this subsection in relation to any such proposals as are mentioned in subsection (1) above are, subject to the requirements imposed by subsection (2) above--

(a) a requirement to have regard to the desirability of preserving for the public any freedom of access to areas of woodland, mountains, moor, heath, down, cliff or foreshore and other places of natural beauty;

(b) a requirement to have regard to the desirability of maintaining the availability to the public of any facility for visiting or inspecting any building, site or object of archaeological, architectural or historic interest; and

(c) a requirement to take into account any effect which the proposals would have on any such freedom of access or on the availability of any such facility.

(4) Subsections (1) to (3) above shall apply so as to impose duties on the Director and any company holding an appointment as a relevant undertaker in relation to any proposal relating to--

(a) the functions of the NRA; or

(b) the functions of an internal drainage board,

as they apply in relation to any proposals relating to the functions of such an undertaker; and for the purposes of this subsection the reference in subsection (2)(a) above to the functions of the undertaker shall have effect as a reference to the functions of the NRA or, as the case may be, of the internal drainage board in question.

(5) Subject to obtaining the consent of any navigation authority, harbour authority or conservancy authority before doing anything which causes navigation which is subject to the control of that authority to be obstructed or otherwise interfered with, it shall be the duty of every company holding an appointment as a relevant undertaker to take such steps as are--

(a) reasonably practicable; and

(b) consistent with the purposes of the enactments relating to the functions of the undertaker in question,

for securing, so long as that company has rights to the use of water or land associated with water, that those rights are exercised so as to ensure that the water or land is made available for recreational purposes and is so made available in the best manner.

(6) It shall be the duty of a company holding an appointment as a relevant undertaker, in determining what steps to take in performance of any duty imposed by virtue of subsection (5) above, to take into account the needs of persons who are chronically sick or disabled.

(7) The obligations under this section of a company holding an appointment as a relevant undertaker shall be enforceable under section 18 below by the Secretary of State.

(8) Nothing in this section or the following provisions of this Act shall require recreational facilities made available by a relevant undertaker to be made available free of charge.

(9) References in this section to the functions of a relevant undertaker shall be construed, without prejudice to section 156(7) below, as if those functions included the management, by a company holding an appointment as such an undertaker, of any land for the time being held by that company for any purpose whatever (whether or not connected with the carrying out of the functions of a relevant undertaker).

(10) In this section "building" includes structure.

4 Environmental duties with respect to sites of special interest

(1) Where the Nature Conservancy Council for England or the Countryside Council for Wales are of the opinion that any area of land in England or, as the case may be, in Wales--

(a) is of special interest by reason of its flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features; and

(b) may at any time be affected by schemes, works, operations or activities of a relevant undertaker,

that Council shall notify the fact that the land is of special interest for that reason to every relevant undertaker whose works, operations or activities may affect the land.

(2) Where a National Park authority or the Broads Authority is of the opinion that any area of land in a National Park or in the Broads--

(a) is land in relation to which the matters for the purposes of which section 3 above has effect are of particular importance; and

(b) may at any time be affected by schemes, works, operations or activities of a relevant undertaker,

the National Park authority or Broads Authority shall notify the fact that the land is such land, and the reasons why those matters are of particular importance in relation to the land, to every relevant undertaker whose works, operations or activities may affect the land.

(3) Where a relevant undertaker has received a notification under subsection (1) or (2) above with respect to any land, that undertaker shall consult the notifying body before carrying out any works, operations or activities which appear to that undertaker to be likely--

(a) to destroy or damage any of the flora, fauna, or geological or physiographical features by reason of which the land is of special interest; or

(b) significantly to prejudice anything the importance of which is one of the reasons why the matters mentioned in subsection (2) above are of particular importance in relation to that land.

(4) Subsection (3) above shall not apply in relation to anything done in an emergency where particulars of what is done and of the emergency are notified to the Nature Conservancy Council for England, the Countryside Council for Wales, the National Park authority in question or, as the case may be, the Broads Authority as soon as practicable after that thing is done.

(5) The obligations under this section of a relevant undertaker shall be enforceable under section 18 below by the Secretary of State.

(6) In this section--

  • "the Broads" has the same meaning as in the [1988 c. 4.] Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Act 1988; and

  • "National Park authority" means a National Park Committee or a joint or special planning board for a National Park;

and section 3(9) above shall apply, as it applies in relation to that section, for construing (in accordance with section 6 below) any references in this section to a relevant undertaker.

5 Codes of practice with respect to environmental and recreational duties

(1) The Secretary of State may by order approve any code of practice issued (whether by him or by another person) for the purpose of--

(a) giving practical guidance to relevant undertakers with respect to any of the matters for the purposes of which sections 3 and 4 above have effect; and

(b) promoting what appear to him to be desirable practices by such undertakers with respect to those matters,

and may at any time by such an order approve a modification of such a code or withdraw his approval of such a code or modification.

(2) A contravention of a code of practice as for the time being approved under this section shall not of itself constitute a contravention of any requirement imposed by section 3 or 4 above or give rise to any criminal or civil liability; but the Secretary of State and the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food shall each be under a duty to take into account whether there has been or is likely to be any such contravention in determining when and how he should exercise his powers in relation to any relevant undertaker by virtue of this Act, any of the other consolidation Acts or the [1989 c. 15.] Water Act 1989.

(3) The power of the Secretary of State to make an order under this section shall be exercisable by statutory instrument subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(4) The Secretary of State shall not make an order under this section unless he has first consulted--

(a) the NRA;

(b) the Countryside Commission, the Nature Conservancy Council for England and the Countryside Council for Wales;

(c) the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England;

(d) the Sports Council and the Sports Council for Wales; and

(e) such relevant undertakers and other persons as he considers it appropriate to consult.

(5) In this section "the other consolidation Acts" means the [1991 c. 57.] Water Resources Act 1991, the [1991 c. 58.] Statutory Water Companies Act 1991, the [1991 c. 59.] Land Drainage Act 1991 and the [1991 c. 60.] Water Consolidation (Consequential Provisions) Act 1991.



Part II Appointment and Regulation of Undertakers

Chapter I Appointments

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Making of appointments

6 Appointment of relevant undertakers

(1) Subject to the following provisions of this Chapter, a company may be appointed--

(a) by the Secretary of State; or

(b) with the consent of or in accordance with a general authorisation given by the Secretary of State, by the Director,

to be the water undertaker or sewerage undertaker for any area of England and Wales.

(2) Without prejudice to the obligation of a company holding an appointment under this Chapter to comply with the conditions of its appointment, the appointment of a company to be the water undertaker or sewerage undertaker for any area shall have the effect, while the appointment remains in force--

(a) of requiring the company to perform any duty imposed by or under any enactment on an undertaker of the relevant description (that is to say, a water undertaker or, as the case may be, sewerage undertaker);

(b) of authorising the company, for the purposes of, or in connection with, the carrying out of any of the functions of an undertaker of the relevant description, to exercise any power conferred by or under any enactment on an undertaker of that description;

(c) of requiring enactments and subordinate legislation authorising or requiring anything to be done in relation to an undertaker of the relevant description to be construed as authorising or requiring that thing to be done in relation to that company; and

(d) of requiring other references in any enactment or subordinate legislation to an undertaker of the relevant description, or to the area of that undertaker, to be construed, so far as necessary for the purposes of, or in connection with, the carrying out by that company of the functions of an undertaker of that description, as references to that company or, as the case may be, to that area.

(3) The appointment of a company to be a relevant undertaker shall be by service on the company of an instrument in writing containing the appointment and describing the area for which it is made.

(4) A single instrument may contain the appointment of a company to be the sewerage undertaker for an area and the appointment of the same company to be the water undertaker for the whole or any part of that area or for an area which includes the whole or any part of that area.

(5) A company shall not be appointed to be a water undertaker unless it is a limited company or a statutory water company and shall not be appointed to be a sewerage undertaker unless it is a limited company.

(6) As soon as practicable after making an appointment under this Chapter, the Secretary of State shall send a copy of the appointment to the Director.

7 Continuity of appointments, replacement appointments etc

(1) It shall be the duty of the Secretary of State to secure that such appointments are made under this Chapter as will ensure that for every area of England and Wales there is at all times both--

(a) a company holding an appointment under this Chapter as water undertaker; and

(b) whether or not the same company in relation to the whole or any part of that area, a company holding an appointment as sewerage undertaker.

(2) Subject to the following provisions of this section--

(a) the Secretary of State; and

(b) with the consent of or in accordance with a general authorisation given by the Secretary of State, the Director,

shall have power, by notice to a company holding an appointment under this Chapter, to terminate the appointment or to vary the area to which it relates.

(3) The appointment of a company to be a water undertaker or sewerage undertaker shall not be terminated or otherwise cease to relate to or to any part of any area except with effect from the coming into force of such appointments and variations replacing that company as a relevant undertaker as secure either–

(a) that another company becomes the water undertaker or, as the case may be, sewerage undertaker for that area or part or for an area that includes that area or part; or

(b) that two or more companies each become the water undertaker or, as the case may be, sewerage undertaker for one of a number of different areas that together constitute or include that area or part.

(4) An appointment or variation replacing a company as a relevant undertaker shall not be made in relation to the whole or any part of the area to which that company's appointment as water undertaker or, as the case may be, sewerage undertaker relates except where--

(a) that company consents to the appointment or variation;

(b) the appointment or variation relates only to parts of that area none of the premises in which is served by that company; or

(c) the appointment or variation is made in such circumstances as may be set out for the purposes of this paragraph in the conditions of that company's appointment.

8 Procedure with respect to appointments and variations

(1) An application for an appointment or variation replacing a company as a relevant undertaker shall be made in such manner as may be prescribed.

(2) Within fourteen days after making an application under this section, the applicant shall--

(a) serve notice of the application on the existing appointee and on every local authority whose area includes the whole or any part of the area to which the application relates; and

(b) publish a copy of the notice in such manner as may be prescribed.

(3) Before making an appointment or variation replacing a company as a relevant undertaker, the Secretary of State or the Director shall give notice--

(a) stating that he proposes to make the appointment or variation;

(b) stating the reasons why he proposes to make the appointment or variation; and

(c) specifying the period (not being less than twenty-eight days from the date of publication of the notice) within which representations or objections with respect to the proposed appointment or variation may be made.

(4) A notice under subsection (3) above shall be given--

(a) by publishing the notice in such manner as the Secretary of State or, as the case may be, the Director considers appropriate for bringing it to the attention of persons likely to be affected by the making of the proposed appointment or variation; and

(b) by serving a copy of the notice on the existing appointee and on every local authority whose area includes the whole or any part of the area to which the proposed appointment or variation relates.

(5) As soon as practicable after making an appointment or variation replacing a company as a relevant undertaker, the Secretary of State or the Director shall--

(a) serve a copy of the appointment or variation on the existing appointee; and

(b) serve notice of the making of the appointment or variation on every local authority whose area includes the whole or any part of the area to which the appointment or variation relates,

and as soon as practicable after exercising any power to vary the area to which an appointment under this Chapter relates, the Secretary of State shall send a copy of the variation to the Director.

(6) In this section "the existing appointee", in relation to an appointment or variation replacing a company as a relevant undertaker, means the company which is replaced in relation to the whole or any part of the area to which the appointment or variation relates or, where there is more than one such company, each of them.

9 Duties affecting making of appointments and variations

(1) Before making an appointment or variation replacing a company as a relevant undertaker, the Secretary of State or the Director shall consider any representations or objections which have been duly made in pursuance of the notice under section 8(3) above and have not been withdrawn.

(2) Before making an appointment or variation replacing a company as a relevant undertaker, the Secretary of State shall consult the Director.

(3) In determining whether to make an appointment or variation by virtue of section 7(4)(b) above in relation to any part of an area, the Secretary of State or, as the case may be, the Director shall have regard, in particular, to any arrangements made or expenditure incurred by the existing appointee for the purpose of enabling premises in that part of that area to be served by that appointee.

(4) It shall be the duty of the Secretary of State or, as the case may be, of the Director--

(a) in making an appointment or variation replacing a company as a relevant undertaker; and

(b) where he makes such an appointment or variation, in determining what provision is to be made with respect to the fixing by the new appointee of any water or drainage charges,

to ensure, so far as may be consistent with his duties under Part I of this Act, that the interests of the members and creditors of the existing appointee are not unfairly prejudiced as respects the terms on which the new appointee could accept transfers of property, rights and liabilities from the existing appointee.

Pages: P.1 | P.2 | P.3 | P.4 | P.5 | P.6 | P.7 | P.8 | P.9 | P.10 | P.11 | P.12 | P.13 | P.14 | P.15 | P.16 | P.17 | P.18

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