Water Services Act 2007

56.

Conservation of water.

56.— (1) For the purposes of conserving water, where an authorised person has reason to believe that the management, consumption or other use of water on a premises allows water to be wasted or fails to prevent water from being wasted or consumed in excessive amounts, he or she may by notice direct the owner or occupier of the premises to take such corrective action (including installation, repair or replacement of specified pipes, valves or meters and other accessories, or change in operating practice in relation to the management or use of water) as the authorised person considers necessary.

(2) An authorised person may by notice direct the owner or occupier of a premises to limit consumption of water supplied by a water services authority to the premises to such rate or quantity as may be specified in the notice.

(3) Where an authorised person is of the opinion that an immediate risk to human health or the environment or to the integrity of a water service necessitates a reduction in consumption of water supplied, he or she may issue a notice (in this section referred to as an “emergency notice”), having immediate effect, directing the owner or occupier of a premises to limit consumption of water supplied by a water services authority to the premises to such rate or quantity as may be specified in the notice.

(4) A person who fails to comply with a notice under subsection (1), (2) or (3) commits an offence.

(5) A notice under subsection (1) or (2) or an emergency notice under subsection (3) may issue to such owners or occupiers of a premises, such classes of owners or occupiers of such classes of premises as the case may be, as the authorised person considers necessary for the purposes of this section.

(6) An emergency notice under subsection (3) may, notwithstanding section 19 , also be issued by—

( a) advertisement in a newspaper circulating in the area concerned,

( b) broadcast on a radio or television channel generally available in the area, or

( c) such other means as the Minister may direct.

(7) A person to whom a notice under subsection (1) or (2) applies may, within one month from the date of the notice, appeal to the District Court in relation to the notice, or any condition of the notice.

(8) On the hearing of any appeal under subsection (7), the District Court may make an order upholding the notice or giving such directions to the water services authority concerned as the Court thinks proper in relation to the notice, including its amendment or withdrawal.

(9) A notice under subsection (1) or (2) shall become enforceable—

( a) in case an objection is not made against it, upon the expiration of one month from the date of the notice,

( b) in case an appeal is brought against it and the determination of the appeal does not set the notice aside, upon and in accordance with such determination, or

( c) in case an appeal is brought against it and the appeal is withdrawn, upon withdrawal of the appeal or on expiration of one month from the date of the notice, whichever is the later.

(10) An emergency notice under subsection (3) shall become enforceable on the date for compliance specified in the notice.

(11) ( a) Where there is a failure to comply with a notice under subsection (1) or (2) or an emergency notice under subsection (3) the authorised person who issued such a notice may, on the issue of a further notice to the owner or occupier of a premises, restrict or cut off the supply of water to some or all of the premises referred to in the notice until he or she is satisfied that the notice under subsection (1) or (2) or the emergency notice under subsection (3) has been complied with.

( b) Paragraph (a) applies—

(i) in addition to and not in substitution for other penalties or provisions applying to non-compliance with a notice under subsection (1) or (2) or an emergency notice under subsection (3),

(ii) without prejudice to any other of the functions of the authorised person, and

(iii) at the discretion of the authorised person.

(12) Liability shall not accrue to a water services authority arising from any consequence of the restriction or cutting off of a supply of water in accordance with subsection (11).

(13) The Minister may make regulations for any of the following purposes, namely:

( a) the form and method of serving of a notice or emergency notice;

( b) the duration of a notice or emergency notice;

( c) review of an emergency notice;

( d) the action to be carried out under a notice or emergency notice;

( e) the time limit by which action directed to be carried out under a notice or emergency notice must be completed;

( f) the minimum period of notice and other procedures to be followed before a water supply is restricted or cut off;

( g) the quality of materials and workmanship to be employed in any remedial action under a notice;

( h) the prevention of waste, undue consumption, misuse or contamination of water; or

( i) such incidental provisions as are necessary to ensure the effective application of this section.

(14) The Minister may make regulations for the purposes of water conservation and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, such regulations may provide for 1 or more of the following:

( a) the specification of devices or systems to reduce demand for water in premises, and of obligations in relation to the design, installation or use of such devices or systems;

( b) the specification of obligations or technical requirements in relation to—

(i) the design, installation and use of devices or systems for collection, treatment or distribution of storm water or grey water,

(ii) the introduction of storm water or grey water into the distribution system of premises,

(iii) the redistribution of storm water or grey water for use for purposes other than human consumption;

( c) the specification of treatment standards for storm water or grey water, including different standards for different applications;

( d) the duties of owners or occupiers of premises in relation to conservation of water or waste water in the premises;

( e) the duties of water services providers in relation to conservation of water or waste water.

(15) ( a) A person who contravenes a regulation under subsection (13) which is stated to be a penal regulation commits an offence.

( b) A person who contravenes a regulation under subsection (14) commits an offence.

(16) Where a water services authority is of the opinion that a serious deficiency of water available for distribution exists or is likely to exist F41 [ ], either by itself or by another provider of water services, then it may by order, for a specified period, prohibit or restrict such class or classes of use, including use at specified times of the day, of any water supplied by it or the other provider of water services. Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, an order under this subsection may so prohibit or restrict the use of water—

( a) drawn through a hosepipe or similar apparatus for the purpose of—

(i) watering a garden,

(ii) watering recreational parks or sports grounds, either generally or any particular type of such park or ground,

(iii) irrigating or spraying crops, either generally or any particular type of crop, or

(iv) washing a mechanically propelled vehicle or a trailer,

( b) used for the provision of a commercial washing service for a vehicle or trailer, or

( c) used for filling or replenishing a swimming pool, artificial pond, lake or similar application.

(17) Before making an order under subsection (16) the relevant water services authority shall give public notice of its intention to make such order and the period for which the order will remain in force by—

( a) causing an advertisement to be published in a newspaper circulating in the area,

( b) causing notification of the proposed order to be broadcast on a radio or television channel available in the area, or

( c) such other means as the Minister may direct.

(18) A person who contravenes an order under subsection (16) commits an offence.

(19) An authorised person or a member of the Garda Síochána who has reasonable grounds for believing that a person is committing or has committed an offence under subsection (18), may request that person to furnish his or her name and address to such authorised person or member.

(20) A person who, when requested to furnish his or her name or address to an authorised person or member of the Garda Síochána under subsection (19), fails to do so, or when so requested furnishes a name and address which is false or misleading commits an offence.

(21) Where a member of the Garda Síochána is of the opinion that an offence under subsection (20) is being or has been committed, then the member may arrest that person without warrant.

(22) Where an authorised person or a member of the Garda Síochána has reasonable grounds for believing that a person is committing or has committed an offence under subsection (18), he or she may give to such person a notice in the prescribed form stating that—

( a) the person is alleged to have committed the offence,

( b) the person may during the period of 21 days beginning on the date of the notice make to the water services authority specified in the notice a payment, accompanied by the notice, of an amount, being a fixed amount of €125, and

( c) a prosecution in respect of the alleged offence will not be instituted during the period specified in the notice, and if the payment specified in the notice is made during that period, no prosecution in respect of the alleged offence will be instituted.

(23) Where a notice is given under subsection (22), then—

( a) a person to whom the notice applies may, during the period specified in the notice, make to the water services authority specified in the notice the payment specified in the notice, accompanied by the notice,

( b) the water services authority shall receive the payment and issue a receipt for it and may retain the money so paid to offset costs incurred by it in the course of performing its functions under this Act, and no payment so received shall in any circumstances be recoverable by the person who made it, and

( c) a prosecution in respect of the alleged offence shall not be instituted in the period specified in the notice and, if the payment specified in the notice is made during that period, no prosecution in respect of the alleged offence shall be instituted.

(24) In a prosecution of an offence referred to in subsection (18), the onus of showing that a payment pursuant to a notice under subsection (22) has been made shall lie with the accused.

(25) In this section—

“grey water” means domestic waste water excluding that which is flushed from a toilet bowl or urinal;

“water services authority”, other than in subsections (16), (17) and (23), includes—

( a) an authorised provider of water services, and

( b) a person providing water services jointly with or on behalf of—

(i) a water services authority, or

(ii) an authorised provider of water services.

Annotations:

Amendments:

F41

Deleted (1.01.2014) by Water Services (No. 2) Act 2013 (50/2013), s. 45(10), S.I. No. 575 of 2013, subject to subs. (24) which excludes certain provisions from effect of amendment.

Editorial Notes:

E24

Forms to be used for issue of notices under section and related procedures and requirements prescribed (9.12.2008) by Water Conservation Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 527 of 2008).