Abu Dhabi Department of Energy issues Tankering Regulations for water tanker and wastewater services

Abu Dhabi Department of Energy issues Tankering Regulations for water tanker and wastewater services
Abu Dhabi Department of Energy issues Tankering Regulations for water tanker and wastewater services

(WAM) — The Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, DoE, has issued Tankering Regulations for water and wastewater tanker services to ensure the quality of water supplies, regulate collection and transfer of wastewater, protect the environment, and comply with basic operating regulations.

The launch is part of the DoE’s role in regulating the energy and water sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and ensuring security of water supplies. The Tankering Regulations builds on the Department’s efforts to ensure the quality of water, protect customers, and adhere to all operational standards that ensure the provision of high-quality services, all the while taking environmental controls into account.

DoE Undersecretary Mohammad bin Jarsh Al Falasi asserted that the DoE strives to achieve the directions and visions of the wise leadership to ensure the emirate’s water security, launching a series of policies, laws, and regulations that seek to optimise consumption of the country’s water resources and protect it from wastage.

“The Tankering Regulations for water and wastewater services constitute an important step towards organising operations in this vital sector and achieving efficiency and quality, all the while complying with the high environmental standards in force in the emirate,” Al Falasi added. “The Regulations also represent a new addition to the DoE’s efforts to strengthen the water sector, enable it to serve various other sectors, improve water transport services, and develop sustainable operational regulations.”

“The Tankering Regulations outline the regulatory framework for the tankering of water and wastewater, including defining roles and responsibilities between the responsible entities and tanker operators providing these services,” he explained. “The DoE will be working with competent authorities and licensed entities operating in the water sector in the emirate – most notably the distribution companies and Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company – and in collaboration with the relevant authorities, in order to implement the Tankering Regulations and ensure that all stakeholders adhere to the new directives, and comply with applicable operational standards. This, in turn, helps develop the water sector in accordance with a pragmatic vision that brings progress to all vital economic sectors.”

The Tankering Regulations cover services of water tankers intended for both drinking and non-drinking water, including desalinated water, recycled water, and groundwater, in addition to wastewater tankers.

The Regulations outline a list of responsibilities for the DoE, including determining the regulatory framework for tankering; ensuring all concerned parties comply with the requirements of the Regulations; issuing the relevant guides and instructions to the Regulations and monitoring compliance to such guides; regulating prices for Tanker management services, the method of charging and collection of charges; regulating prices charged to customers by responsible persons; licencing the responsible entities; and reviewing and approving the Code of Practice submitted by the responsible entity.

Meanwhile, responsible entities are responsible for the following tasks, among others: permitting and certifying tankers; dispatching and controlling tankers; maintaining an up-to-date register of tankers and tanker drivers and any other records stipulated by these Regulations; controlling and supervising the management of tankers and conducting periodic inspections to ensure tanker compliance with the necessary technical requirements; and managing and operating tanker filling stations and wastewater discharge points.

The Regulations also outline responsibilities for the tanker operator (or ‘Responsible Person’), which include securing any necessary Certificates or Permits from responsible entities; maintaining tankers in compliance with the technical requirements of these Regulations; ensuring tankers are operated by suitably qualified and competent tanker drivers in line with these regulations; making sure that tankers for self-supply are not used for commercial purposes; and complying with the applicable price regulation for tankering services.

For their part, tanker drivers are responsible for the following tasks, among others: delivering tankering services in line with the stipulation of the tankering regulations and the guide; avoiding waste and spillage; and complying with all applicable health, safety and environment requirements.

The regulations also contain provisions that guarantee the customers’ freedom to choose the service provider they prefer, in an effort to ensure transparency and fairness in competition among service providers. The Regulations stipulate that all tariffs for tankering services where applicable should be submitted by the responsible persons to the responsible entity at least one month before applying them. The responsible persons should make available their prevailing tariffs for tankering services to the public and potential customers on their websites or other websites with their contact details.

The Tankering Regulations for Water and Wastewater Services also outline a list of prohibitions, most notably prohibiting the use of tankers not certified to operate in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in providing tankering services, and prohibiting the use of interchangeable tankers to avoid any cross-contamination between drinking water, non-drinking water and wastewater. Discharging the load of wastewater tankers in places other than the designated wastewater discharge points specified by the responsible entity is also prohibited, as is the reselling or supply of water to others by customers.

Moreover, the Regulations include a list of technical requirements that aim to ensure high-quality services. These include requirements for all tankers to be equipped with a tracking device, allowing the responsible entity to monitor their movement and that of any other equipment necessary for the dispatch of water and/or collection of wastewater. All drinking water tankers, non-drinking water tankers and wastewater tankers certified and/or permitted by the responsible entity must have appropriate signage stating their intended purpose, where tankers are not permitted to be used for any type of water than the one they were intended for. The Regulations also include a set of requirements for tanker filling stations and wastewater discharge points.

The Regulations also take into account the application of environmental standards by protecting public health and the environment, ensuring the quality of water supplied to customers, and prohibiting the disposal of wastewater into the surrounding environment. The document outlines a set of necessary measures to be taken in the event of a leak from the filling stations of from the tanks themselves.

Compliance with the Tankering Regulations shall be assessed in accordance with the relevant laws and provisions. These provisions include a health and safety system, as well as Incident Reporting Requirements. The responsible entity must develop an occupational health and safety system, and notify the DoE of any incident related to the water and wastewater tanker services.

DoE has granted the concerned entities a grace period to comply with the regulations. Any failure to comply with these Regulations or any act that may be considered as a failure to comply must be reported to the DoE by all entities to which these Regulations apply. Penalties range from AED5,000 to AED50,000, depending on the violation. The most notable infringements include using wastewater, trade effluent or non-drinking water tankers to distribute drinking water; operating a tanker without an approval or permit from the responsible entity or using an expired permit or approval; discharging wastewater or trade effluent without complying with the standards adopted in the discharge points; failure to comply with tanker management services tariffs or costs approved by DoE; and failure of the responsible person to fulfil its obligation to provide tankering services during emergencies, crises, and disasters, as determined by the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy.