In Nicaragua, not in all geographical areas there is the possibility of obtaining drinking water for human consumption through a network of aqueducts that guarantees, in addition to its accessibility, the quality of the water resource. The need or demand to obtain water for human consumption also becomes palpable depending on certain dates or times of the year, or even due to natural phenomena. This makes the transportation and distribution of water for human consumption by means of tanker vehicles, in many areas, a priority and indispensable need for the population, including situations of great demand or emergency.
This represents a commercial activity and sources of employment that merit its valuation as an investment possibility and, in turn, plays an important role in the solution of basic needs in some sectors of the population. However, with respect to water for human consumption, it is vital to regulate and comply with sanitary and technical requirements in order to ensure and preserve public health and productive development, from the point of supply, transportation and distribution of water to the population that needs it.
From this approach, our legislation seeks to modernize through the Nicaraguan mandatory technical standard “nton” 09001: 2022, water for human consumption, tank vehicles and sanitary and technical requirements, which regulates natural or legal, public or private persons who transport and distribute water for human consumption through tank vehicles, in situations of regular and irregular supply, programmed supply cuts, emergencies due to natural or anthropogenic phenomena, excluding tanks for transport and distribution of water for human consumption with a capacity of less than 3 cubic meters. This NTON has been recently published in the Official Gazette La Gaceta No. 102 of June 9, 2023 and will enter into force 180 days after such publication.
The main aspects to consider according to it are:
- For this activity, an operating permit with its proper registration must be obtained. Address the application letter to the National Water Authority (ANA) – General Legal Directorate (DGJ) including the general data of the service provider, type of procedure (operation permit), number of tank vehicles owned, and description of the documentation attached in the corresponding application form (format available at ANA).
- Within the context of this NTON, the tank vehicle must be used exclusively for transporting water for human consumption and must be kept clean and disinfected.
- In cases of emergency due to natural or anthropogenic phenomena, ANA will provide the National System for Disaster Prevention, Mitigation and Response (SINAPRED) with information on the registry of water tank vehicle service providers that have an operating permit.
- Both the drinking water service provider and the tanker vehicle service providers are responsible for guaranteeing the quality of the water that will be supplied to users.
- The tanker vehicle service provider must receive its supply from a water source authorized for human consumption, guaranteeing the quality of the water delivered by the drinking water service provider.
- The drinking water service provider will not supply water to tanker vehicles that do not have an operating permit issued by ANA or that do not comply with the sanitary requirements of NTON 09001.
- The tank vehicle service provider has the obligation to ensure compliance with the technical programs and standards for the promotion of occupational health, working environments and prevention of occupational diseases. In accordance with the General Health Law (Law No. 423) and its Regulations (Decree 001-2003, Law on Occupational Health and Safety of Workers, Law No. 618, Law No. 618-2003, Law No. 618-2003, Law No. 618-2003, Law No. 618-2003, Law No. 618-2003, Law No. 618-2003).
- NTON 09001 establishes sanitary and technical requirements that must be met.
- NTON 09001 repeals and replaces the Nicaraguan Mandatory Technical Standard NTON 09 005-10 sanitary requirements and technical requirements for tank vehicles for the transportation and distribution of water for human consumption published in the Official Gazette La Gaceta, No. 131 of July 14, 2011.
- The competent authorities for the application of this Mandatory Technical Standard are the National Water Authority (ANA) and the Ministry of Health (MINSA), as applicable.
In conclusion, natural or legal persons of any nature interested in this activity or who are already engaged in operating in this area, must comply or update to the conditions contained in the NTON 09001, based on both technical and sanitary observances, seeking the benefit of the population that in this way solves their needs in terms of water resources for human consumption. The above without detriment to other related regulations or laws, for example, in health and environmental matters.