Water Services Act 2007

2.

Interpretation.

2.— (1) In this Act, except where the context otherwise requires—

“abstraction”, in relation to water contained in any source of water, means the doing of anything whereby any of that water is removed from that source of water, whether temporarily or permanently, including anything whereby the water is so removed for the purpose of being transferred to another source of water;

“Act of 1962” means Local Government (Sanitary Services) Act 1962;

“Act of 1977” means Local Government (Water Pollution) Act 1977;

“Act of 1990” means Local Government (Water Pollution) (Amendment) Act 1990;

“Act of 1992” means Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992;

“Act of 1996” means Waste Management Act 1996;

“Act of 2000” means Planning and Development Act 2000;

“Act of 2001” means Local Government Act 2001;

“accessories”, in relation to a waterworks, waste water works, water main, sewer or other pipe, includes any manholes, ventilating shafts, inspection chambers, overflow weirs or chambers, valves, tanks, sluices, culverts, wash-out pipes or stopcocks for them, or any machinery or other apparatus which is designed or adapted for use in connection with the use or maintenance of the waterworks, waste water works, main, sewer or other pipe or of another accessory;

“Agency” means the Environmental Protection Agency;

“agriculture” includes horticulture, apiculture, fruit growing, seed growing, dairy farming, the breeding and keeping of livestock (including pigs, poultry and any creature kept for the production of food, wool, skins or fur, or for the purpose of its use in the farming of land), the training of horses and the rearing of bloodstock, the use of land as grazing land, meadow land, osier land, market gardens and nursery grounds and the making and storage of silage;

F1 [ allowance amount means the allowance specified by order under subsection (1)(b) or (4)(b) of section 53B (inserted by section 9 of the Water Services Act 2017); ]

“aquaculture” has the same meaning as it has in the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 1997;

“authorised person” means a person who is—

( a) appointed in writing by the Minister, F2 [ Irish Water, ] a water services authority or such other person as may be prescribed to be an authorised person for the purposes of this Act or any part or section of it, or

( b) appointed in writing to be an authorised person by regulations under this Act by a person specified in those regulations;

“authorised provider of water services”, or any similar construction, means a holder of a licence under Part 6 , Chapter 2 or a person to whom section 79(4) applies;

F1 [ average rate has the meaning assigned to it by section 53A (inserted by section 8 of the Water Services Act 2017); ]

“Board” means An Bord Pleanála;

“charge”, except where the context otherwise requires, includes fee;

F1 [ Commission means

(a) before 2 October 2017, the Commission for Energy Regulation, and

(b) by virtue of the Change of Name of Commission for Energy Regulation to Commission for Regulation of Utilities (Appointed Day) Order 2017 ( S.I. No. 397 of 2017 ), on and from 2 October 2017, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities; ]

F1 [ customer has the meaning assigned to it by the Water Services (No. 2) Act 2013 ; ]

“development” has the meaning assigned to it by section 3 of the Act of 2000;

“development plan” means a development plan adopted under section 9(1) of the Act of 2000;

“distribution system” means a pipe and its related fittings, that is used, or to be used as the case may be, to convey water into or through one or more premises (including any related internal or external taps), other than—

( a) a service connection,

( b) where it is owned by, vested in or controlled by—

(i) a water services authority,

(ii) an authorised provider of water services, or

(iii) a person providing water services jointly with or on behalf of a water services authority or an authorised provider of water services,

and in the case of water used in manufacturing, including food or drinks production, includes the point where water is used in the undertaking;

“domestic waste water” means waste water of a composition and concentration (biological and chemical) normally discharged by a household, and which originates predominantly from the human metabolism or from day to day domestic type human activities, including washing and sanitation, but does not include fats, oils, grease or food particles discharged from a premises in the course of, or in preparation for, providing a related service or carrying on a related trade;

“drain” means a drainage pipe, or system of such pipes and related fittings for collection of waste water, that is not owned by, vested in or controlled by a water services authority, an authorised provider of water services, or a person providing water services jointly with or on behalf of a water services authority or an authorised provider of water services, and that is not a service connection, which is used, or to be used as the case may be, to convey waste water from one or more premises or to any waste water treatment system on a premises where the waste water is generated;

F1 [ dwelling means a premises occupied by a person as his or her place of private residence (whether or not as his or her principal private residence); ]

“enactment” means an Act, Statute or Statutory Instrument or any portion of an Act, Statute or Statutory Instrument;

“EU Water Framework Directive” means Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for community action in the field of water policy 1;

“groundwater” means all water below the land surface that is not in a pipe or similarly contained;

“internal distribution system” means that part of a distribution system, within the curtilage of a premises, which is used for the provision of water for human consumption or food or drinks production;

“land” includes any structure and any land covered with water (whether inland or coastal), any substratum of land and, in relation to the acquisition of land, any pipe running through, under or over land, or any interest or right in or over land (including an interest or right granted by or held from the person acquiring the land);

“Minister” means Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government;

“monitoring” includes inspection, measurement, sampling or analysis, whether periodically or continuously;

“network” means the works forming the system for the distribution of water supply or for the collection of waste water;

“occupier” includes any person entitled to occupy a premises and any other person having, for the time being, control of the premises;

“owner” means, in relation to a premises, a person, other than a mortgagee not in possession, who, whether in his or her own right or as a trustee or agent for any other person, is entitled to receive the rent of the premises or, where the premises are not let at a rent, would be so entitled if they were so let;

“parametric values” has the same meaning as it has in Council Directive 98/83/EC of 3 November 1998 on the quality of water intended for human consumption 2;

“pipe” includes—

( a) any sewer, water main, service connection, drain, channel, culvert, drainage pipe, and

( b) any system of such pipes, accessories and related fittings, including meters,

that is used, designed or intended to be used to collect, store, distribute or measure water, waste water, domestic waste water or trade effluent;

“polluter pays principle” means the principle set out in Council Recommendation 75/436/Euratom, ECSC, EEC of 3 March, 1975 3 regarding cost allocation and action by public authorities on environmental matters;

“premises” includes any building, vessel, vehicle, structure or land (whether or not there are structures on the land and whether or not the land is covered with water), and any plant or related accessories on or under such land, or any hereditament of tenure, together with any out-buildings and curtilage;

“prescribe” means prescribe by regulations made by the Minister under this Act, and cognate words shall be construed accordingly;

“public authority” means:

( a) a Minister of the Government;

( b) a local authority within the meaning of the Act of 2001;

( c) the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland;

( d) a harbour authority within the meaning of the Harbours Acts 1946 to 2005;

( e) a harbour company under the Harbours Acts 1996 to 2005;

( f) the Health Service Executive;

( g) a board or other body (but not including a company under the Companies Acts) established by or under statute;

( h) a company under the Companies Acts, in which all the shares are held—

(i) by or on behalf of or jointly with a Minister of the Government,

(ii) by directors appointed by a Minister of the Government, or

(iii) by a board, company or other body referred to in paragraph (g) or subparagraph (i) or (ii),

or

( i) any other person as may be prescribed by regulations made by the Minister for the purposes of any provision of this Act;

F1 [ recommended allowance has the meaning assigned to it by section 53A (inserted by section 8 of the Water Services Act 2017); ]

“service connection” means a water supply pipe or drainage pipe, together with any accessories and related fittings, extending from a waterworks or waste water works to the outer edge of the boundary to the curtilage of a premises, and used, or to be used as the case may be, for the purpose of connecting one or more premises with a waterworks or waste water works, and, where used or to be used for connecting more than one such premises it shall extend to the outer edge of the boundary to the curtilage of the premises which is furthermost from the said waterworks or waste water works;

“sewage” and “sewage effluent” have the meanings assigned to them by the Act of 1977;

“sewer” means drainage pipes and sewers of every description, including storm water sewers, owned by, vested in or controlled by a water services authority, an authorised provider of water services or a person providing water services jointly with or on behalf of a water services authority or an authorised provider of water services, but does not include a drain or service connection;

“source” means any lake, pool, river, pond, stream, impoundment, spring or aquifer from which water is or at any time may be obtained;

“storm water” means run-off rainwater that enters any pipe;

“structure” means any building, erection, structure, excavation, or other thing constructed, erected, or made on, in or under any land, or any part of a structure so defined, and, where the context so admits, includes the land on, in, or under which the structure is situated;

“surface water” means all rainwater or other water that is not in a pipe, but is on the surface of the land;

“technical requirements”, in relation to a pipe and its fittings, means the appropriate capacity for the anticipated level of usage of the pipe, taking account of the standard sizes in which pipes and fittings are generally manufactured;

F1 [ threshold amount means the threshold amount specified by order under subsection (1)(a) or (4)(a) of section 53B (inserted by section 9 of the Water Services Act 2017); ]

“trade” includes agriculture, aquaculture and any scientific research or experiment;

“trade effluent” means effluent from any works, apparatus, plant or drainage pipe used for the disposal to a waste water works of any liquid (whether treated or untreated), either with or without particles of matter in suspension therein, which is discharged from premises used for carrying on any trade or industry (including mining), but does not include domestic waste water or storm water;

“treatment systems” includes systems involving physical, chemical, biological or thermal processes, or combinations of processes, utilised for treatment of water or waste water, or the sludge derived therefrom;

“urban waste water” means domestic waste water or the mixture of domestic waste water with industrial waste water;

“waste water” means sewage, storm water or other effluent discharged, or to be discharged, to a drain, service connection or sewer;

“waste water works” means sewers and their accessories, and all other associated physical elements used for collection, storage or treatment of waste water, and any related land, which are owned by, vested in, controlled or used by any person providing or intending to provide water services;

“water main” means water supply pipes owned by, vested in or controlled by a water services authority, an authorised provider of water services or a person providing water services jointly with or on behalf of a water services authority or an authorised provider of water services, but does not include pipes, fittings and appliances to which the words “distribution system” or “service connection” interpreted in this section apply;

“water services” means all services, including the provision of water intended for human consumption, which provide storage, treatment or distribution of surface water, groundwater or water supplied by a water services authority, or waste water collection, storage, treatment or disposal, but does not include—

( a) provision by a person of pipes and related accessories for the distribution of water, or collection of waste water, to facilitate the subsequent connection by a provider of water services of another person to a water supply or waste water collection service, and

( b) such other exemptions as the Minister may prescribe, for the purposes of the application of licensing provisions under Part 6 ;

“water services authority” means a County Council or a City Council as defined in the Act of 2001, and, subject to such exceptions as may be prescribed, and where the context permits, any references to a sanitary authority or local authority in any legislation, in so far as it relates to functions of that authority in relation to water services, shall be regarded as a reference to a water services authority;

“waters” has the meaning assigned to it by the Act of 1977;

“waterworks” means water sources, water mains and their accessories, and all other associated physical elements used for the abstraction, treatment, storage or distribution of water, and any related land, which are owned by, vested in, controlled or used by any person providing or intending to provide water services;

“works” except where the context otherwise requires includes waterworks and waste water works.

(2) A reference in this Act to contravention of a provision includes, where appropriate, a reference to refusal or failure to comply with that provision.

(3) A reference in this Act to the provision of a service shall be construed as including references to the rendering, the supply, the grant, the issue or provision otherwise of the service, and kindred words shall be construed accordingly.