TITLE 6

Commerce and Trade

SUBTITLE II

Other Laws Relating to Commerce and Trade

CHAPTER 25B. DELAWARE RESIDENTIAL WATER TREATMENT SYSTEM SALES


This chapter may be cited as the "Delaware Residential Water Treatment System Sales Act."

73 Del. Laws, c. 420, § 1.;

The purpose of this chapter is to safeguard the public against deceit and misrepresentation and to ensure, foster and encourage truthful practices and disclosure in the door-to-door sale of residential water treatment systems.

73 Del. Laws, c. 420, § 1.;

(a) "Aesthetic test" shall mean, but not be limited to, a test of a water sample to determine 1 or more of the following:

(1) pH (Acidity/Alkalinity);

(2) Hardness (calcium and/or magnesium content);

(3) Iron content;

(4) Total dissolved solids;

(5) Sulphur content; and

(6) Chlorine taste and odor.

(b) "Buyer" shall mean the actual or prospective purchaser of a residential water treatment system, but does not include persons purchasing for resale.

(c) "Certified laboratory" shall mean a laboratory that is not affiliated with the seller and that is certified to analyze water samples by the Office of Drinking Water of the Division of Public Health of the State. A certified laboratory that is under common ownership with a seller of residential water treatment systems which is operated separately from the seller and which provides services to persons other than the seller shall be deemed to be not affiliated with the seller.

(d) "Door-to-door sale" shall have the meaning set forth in § 4403 of this title.

(e) "Health-related test" shall mean any test to determine whether a water sample meets a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) primary drinking water standard established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under the Safe Drinking Water Act [42 U.S.C. § 300f et seq.], or by the Office of Drinking Water of the Delaware Division of Public Health.

(f) "Heavy metal test" shall mean a test that purports to detect the total content of undifferentiated metal elements in a water sample.

(g) "Place of business" shall have the meaning set forth in § 4403 of this title.

(h) "Precipitation test" shall mean a test that uses chemicals or electricity to precipitate hardness or metal ions in a water sample.

(i) "Residential water treatment systems" shall mean any device that is intended to be connected to the plumbing system of a dwelling in order to filter, purify or otherwise treat potable water.

(j) "Seller" shall have the meaning set forth in § 4403 of this title, except that for the purposes of this chapter the definition of "door-to-door" sale shall not include an exception for transactions that are subject to a right of rescission under § 125 of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (15 U.S.C. § 1635), as set forth in § 4403(3)b. of this title.

73 Del. Laws, c. 420, § 1.;

Section 2513(b)(2) of this title notwithstanding, in connection with any door-to-door sale of a residential water treatment system, it is an unlawful practice within the meaning of § 2513 of this title for any seller to:

(1) Fail to display on the person of each salesperson upon each visit to the home of a buyer an identification badge which conspicuously discloses the name and business address of the seller and the salesperson.

(2) Fail to furnish each buyer a business card or other writing that conspicuously discloses the name, address and telephone number of the seller and the salesperson.

(3) Perform or display during a visit to the home of a buyer a precipitation test or heavy metals test. A seller may perform an in-home aesthetic test and furnish to the buyer a document that conspicuously discloses the test results and that the aesthetic test is related to matters of personal taste and is not related to health. All health-related tests must be performed by a certified laboratory. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, a seller may perform an in-home test of a water sample for nitrates, provided that if the buyer's home is served by public water supplied by a municipal, utility or other community system, the seller also obtains at the seller's cost a test for nitrates from a certified laboratory prior to completion of a sale and installation of a residential water treatment system.

(4) Fail to furnish to the buyer a copy of any report from a certified laboratory that pertains to a buyer's home.

73 Del. Laws, c. 420, § 1.;

(a) A seller may perform an in-home aesthetic test and furnish to the buyer a document that conspicuously discloses the test results and that the aesthetic test is related to matters of personal taste and is not related to health. All health-related tests must be performed by a certified laboratory. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, a seller may perform an in-home test of a water sample for nitrates, provided that if the buyer's home is served by public water supplied by a municipal, utility or other community system, the seller also obtains at the seller's cost a test for nitrates from a certified laboratory prior to completion of a sale and installation of a residential water treatment system.

(b) Performance of any in-home testing not in compliance with this act shall constitute an unlawful practice within the meaning of § 2513 of this title.

73 Del. Laws, c. 420, § 1.;

(a) The Attorney General shall have the same authority in enforcing, remedying, and otherwise carrying out the provisions of this subchapter as is provided by Chapter 25 of Title 29 and by §§ 2511-2527 and 2531-2536 of this title.

(b) If a court or tribunal of competent jurisdiction finds that any person has wilfully violated this chapter, the Attorney General, upon petition to the court or tribunal, shall recover from the person, on behalf of the State, in addition to all the costs, a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 per violation pursuant to § 2513 of this title. If the violation is against a person age 65 or older or a person with a disability, an additional civil penalty of not more than $10,000 per violation shall be recovered pursuant to § 2581 of this title. Each day that a wilful violation continues shall be considered a separate violation.

(c) For the purpose of this chapter, a wilful violation occurs when the party committing the violation knew or should have known that the party's conduct was of a nature prohibited by this chapter.

(d) The remedies provided for in this chapter are not exclusive, and shall be in addition to any other procedures, rights or remedies which exist with respect to any other provisions of law.

73 Del. Laws, c. 420, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 282, § 7; 79 Del. Laws, c. 371, § 2.;