Environmental Information Request regarding asbestos surveys

Ms Katharine Quarmby made this Environmental Information Regulations request to Cambridge Water Company plc as part of a batch sent to 39 authorities
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The request was partially successful.

Ms Katharine Quarmby

Dear Cambridge Water Company plc,

This request is made under the Environmental Information Regulations regarding the presence of asbestos found during surveys of piping for drinking water; water sources; water treatment centres; reservoirs and water towers; pumping stations and water main.

Please provide details from 2017-2021 of any surveys that you as a water company has undertaken to identify asbestos in the buildings and piping listed above.

Please list any incidences where the asbestos survey found that asbestos containing materials (ACMs) were damaged and what action was undertaken to remediate or remove the ACMs.

Please provide details of any breaches of asbestos regulations which were reported to the Health and Safety Executive.

Please respond on whether you sample to see if asbestos is leaching from asbestos cement pipes into drinking water.

Yours faithfully,

Ms Katharine Quarmby

Environment,

Good afternoon,

 

In 2017 we undertook asbestos surveys across all of our Cambridge Water
sites that house buildings - this includes boreholes, water treatment
works and other buildings related to the production of water. None of
these surveys found any damaged asbestos and so we have not had to take
any remedial action as a result. Likewise, we have not any breaches of
asbestos regulations which were reported to the Health and Safety
Executive.

 

With regards to your question regarding water mains, there are no concerns
for our consumers receiving water from asbestos cement mains. Many
countries throughout the world, including the UK and many European
countries, still have asbestos cement water pipes. Historically it has
been estimated that approximately 11 percent of the mains network across
the UK was asbestos cement. The possibility of health effects from
asbestos fibres in drinking water has been widely studied. Published
information by World Health Organisation (WHO), and UKWIR (UK Water
Industry Research) on behalf of the Drinking Water Inspectorate, concludes
that ingestion of asbestos in drinking water does not pose a risk to the
health of consumers.

 

Information is available from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and
suggests that ingested asbestos is not hazardous to health and therefore
they have concluded that there is no health based guideline value for
asbestos in drinking water. Sampling and monitoring programs are risk
based and as asbestos fibres in drinking water do not pose a risk of
health to consumers we do not undertake sampling.

 

Further link to DWI report on asbestos

 

[1]https://www.dwi.gov.uk/research/complete...

 

Kind regards

 

Natalie

 

From: Ms Katharine Quarmby
<[2][FOI #907207 email]>
Date: 12 October 2022 at 17:45:50 BST
To: Daniel Clark <[3][email address]>
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Environmental Information Regulations request -
Environmental Information Request regarding asbestos surveys

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Dear Cambridge Water Company plc,

This request is made under the Environmental Information Regulations
regarding the presence of asbestos found during surveys of piping for
drinking water; water sources; water treatment centres; reservoirs and
water towers; pumping stations and water main.

Please provide details from 2017-2021 of any surveys that you as a water
company has undertaken to identify asbestos in the buildings and piping
listed above.

Please list any incidences where the asbestos survey found that asbestos
containing materials (ACMs) were damaged and what action was undertaken
to remediate or remove the ACMs.

Please provide details of any breaches of asbestos regulations which
were reported to the Health and Safety Executive.

Please respond on whether you sample to see if asbestos is leaching from
asbestos cement pipes into drinking water.

Yours faithfully,

Ms Katharine Quarmby

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