Water Services Act 2007


Interference with meters.

74.— (1) A person who—

(a) removes, damages or causes the removal or damage, or otherwise impairs, or causes impairment of the proper working of a meter,

(b) alters or causes to be altered fraudulently a meter,

(c) prevents or causes to be prevented from being duly registered the volume of water or waste water supplied or discharged through a meter, or

(d) fraudulently bypasses or causes or permits the bypass of a meter provided for the purposes of measuring the volume of water or waste water supplied or discharged,

commits an offence.

(2) If in proceedings for an offence under paragraph (b) or (c) of subsection (1) it is alleged that the defendant prevented such meter from correctly recording the volume of water supplied to, or waste water discharged from, a premises, and it is proved that, during the period such prevention is alleged to have occurred or immediately thereafter—

(a) an artificial means for causing such prevention was present on the said premises or in the precincts thereof, and

(b) the defendant was in occupation of the premises,

such proof shall be prima facie evidence, in those proceedings, of the allegation.

(3) A person who, without lawful excuse, manufactures, imports, sells, offers for sale, supplies or has in his or her possession any thing designed or adapted to prevent a meter from correctly recording the volume of water supplied to or waste water discharged from a premises, commits an offence.

(4) (a) A consumer of water services who has reasonable grounds for believing that a meter to which this section applies is not duly registering a quantity of water being supplied to, or of waste water being discharged from, a premises by reason of the meter being unlawfully interfered with shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that such interference is discontinued.

(b) A person who fails to comply with paragraph (a) commits an offence.

(5) A water services authority may reinstate or repair any damage sustained to any of its property in the course of or arising from an offence under subsection (1) and recover any costs incurred from the person or persons guilty of the offence.

(6) Without prejudice to any other prosecution, or right to prosecute, where, in the opinion of a water services authority, there has been—

(a) an unauthorised taking of water supplies, or

(b) an unauthorised discharge of waste water to a waste water works, or

(c) any unauthorised interference with a meter,

whereby a greater volume of water than registered by a meter is supplied to a person through that meter, or a greater volume of waste water than registered is discharged by a person through that meter, the water services authority may estimate the unrecorded or unauthorised use or discharge and recover or arrange for the recovery of the cost of it from that person.

(7) The Minister may make regulations for the purposes of subsection (6), setting out procedures and methodologies to be adopted to estimate the unrecorded or unauthorised use or discharge.