Notice of Regulation: Rickinghall Works

Notice Under Regulation 28(4) of the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2016 (as amended)

Northumbrian Water Limited: Rickinghall WTW

Reference: NES-2021-00007 (replaces ESK3465)

Water undertaker as appointed under section 6 of the Water Industry Act 1991 (as amended): Northumbrian Water Limited, with registered number 02366703 (hereinafter called ‘the Company’).

Assets affected:
T043 Rickinghall WTW

  1. The Drinking Water Inspectorate (‘the Inspectorate’) has received a regulation 28(1) report of the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2016 (as amended) (‘the Regulations’) from the Company dated 17 September 2021, which states that there is or has been a significant risk of supplying water from Rickinghall WTW that could constitute a potential danger to human health or could be unwholesome.
  2. Consequently, this Notice is served on the Company by the Inspectorate on behalf of the Secretary of State, under regulation 28(4) for the assets listed above, for risks associated with:


Hazard ID

Description of Risks

Nickel Sulphate



Risk of elevated levels of Nickel and Sulphate in the final water that could cause a risk to wholesomeness and constitute a potential danger to human health.

  1. The Company are required to satisfy the following:


(a) to maintain the following measures for the period specified in each case:

  1. Regular review and update of groundwater risk assessments.
    Date: Ongoing for the duration of this notice.
  2. Raw water nickel and sulphate trend graphs will be regularly updated. Nickel and sulphate will be assessed as a hazard as part of the regulation 27 risk assessment for the supply system supplied by Rickinghall works, according to a Drinking Water Safety Planning approach.
    Date: Ongoing for the duration of this notice.
  3. Operational and regulatory monitoring for nickel and sulphate at the raw and final water at Rickinghall works and in the downstream water supply zones.
    Date: Ongoing for the duration of this notice.
  4. Investigate any exceedance of the regulatory standards for nickel (20 µg/L) and sulphate (250 mg/L) in line with company procedures and regulatory requirements, including taking all necessary steps to protect public health.
    Date: Ongoing for the duration of this notice.
  5. Take all steps necessary to optimise existing treatment at Rickinghall works as far as practicable for nickel parameter reduction.
    Date: Ongoing for the duration of this notice.
  6. Maintain enhanced monitoring strategy to supplement raw water and operational monitoring, including weekly sampling of borehole 4, borehole 5 and the final water for nickel and sulphate.
    Date: Upon issue of this notice until completion of measure (b)10.
  7. Keep under review the treatment works risk assessment for Rickinghall works.
    Date: Ongoing for the duration of this notice.

(b) to review, revise or make operational the following measures, by the dates specified in each case:

  1. Submit a summary of the appropriateness of the remedial measures proposed. Confirm the forward programme for including the duration of the work.
    Date: Complete
  2. Complete the site screening exercise to identify suitable sites to drill the offsite borehole considering relevant factors such as proximity to protected species and habitats, likelihood of derogation to existing abstractors, hydrogeological and stratigraphic information which may indicate the presence of the nickel bearing horizons.
    Date: Complete
  3. Complete the site selection to choose two preferred borehole locations from the sites identified in the site screening exercise based on factors such as access, location to high voltage power and proximity to a watercourse for run to waste facilities.
    Date: Complete
  4. Complete landowner licence and option agreements for the two chosen borehole sites.
    Date: Complete
  5. Complete planning, design and procurement arrangements for the remedial measures proposed as part of the programme of work. These will include a new borehole, pump, rising main, associated headworks and raw water main to Rickinghall works aerators.
    Date: 31 March 2023
  6. Drill a 200mm pilot borehole to confirm both yield and water quality.
    Date: Complete
  7. Drill a full diameter production borehole.
    Date: Complete
  8. Prepare a regulation 15(1)(a) risk assessment for the new source (borehole 7).
    Date: Complete
  9. Complete the installation of borehole pump and rising main, headworks, connection to high voltage network, laying of raw water pipeline, commissioning, abstraction licencing of the new source (borehole 7).
    Date: 31 March 2024
  10. On completion of satisfactory commissioning of the new source (borehole 7), remove borehole 4 permanently from supply.
    Date: 31 March 2024

(c) to audit whether the measures have been effective by the following means:

  1. Define an audit strategy to monitor the effectiveness of the measures specified in sections (a) and (b).
    Date: 30 November 2021
  2. Implement, and keep under continuous review, the audit strategy defined in measure (c)1.
    Date: Following completion of measure (c)1. onwards

(d) not to supply water for regulation 4(1) purposes from Rickinghall works, or not to so supply unless the specified conditions below are satisfied:

  1. When borehole 4 is in supply for regulation 4(1) purposes, maintain appropriate blending to ensure concentrations of nickel and sulphate do not exceed the relevant prescribed concentrations for these parameters.
    Date: Until completion of measure (b)10.

(e) to provide the following information in the time and manner specified below to enable monitoring of progress towards the mitigation of the risks:

  1. Provide a progress report annually by 31 January and against the following milestones:
    Date: Annually by 31 January
    • A report detailing the outcomes of the site screening and site selection.
      Date: Complete
    • A report detailing the suitability of the new production borehole to include sustainable yield and raw water quality data.
      Date: 30 June 2022
    • Submit a regulation 15 (1)(a) risk assessment for the new source (borehole 7).
      Date: Complete
    • A report detailing the final as built design and commissioning details of the new borehole to include headworks arrangements, run to waste facilities, ICA and telemetry arrangements and borehole yield/water quality information to demonstrate compliance with the nickel and sulphate standards.
      Date: 30 April 2024
    • Confirmation of removal of borehole 4 from supply.
      Date: 30 April 2024
  2. Submit the strategy for auditing the effectiveness of the measures, as specified in (c)1.
    Date: 31 December 2021
  3. Submit any revisions of the audit strategy produced under measure (c)2.
    Date: Within 1 month of a revision
  4. Submit a report in the event that any completed measure of this Notice needs to be altered in any way for any reason.
    Date: Ongoing for the duration of this Notice
  5. Submit a satisfactory completion report accompanied by a revised regulation 28(1) report with Board level Director sign-off.
    Date: 30 April 2025

  1. Any product or substance used as a result of the requirements in this Notice must comply with regulation 31.
  2. Under regulation 28(6) the Inspectorate, on behalf of the Secretary of State, may by notice served on the Company, revoke or vary this Notice.
  3. Failure by the Company to comply with this Notice may result in enforcement proceedings under section 18 of the Water Industry Act 1991(as amended).
  4. Contravention of a regulation 28(4)(d) requirement is an offence under regulation 33(1). If guilty of such an offence, the Company is liable on summary conviction, or on conviction on indictment, to a fine. Under regulation 33(2) it is a defence for the Company to show that it took all reasonable steps and exercised all due diligence to avoid the commission of the offence.

Nick Adjei
Deputy Chief Inspector, on behalf of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
22 December 2021
Reference: NES-2021-00007
Version 2

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