Environmental Information Request regarding asbestos surveys

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

Ms Katharine Quarmby

Dear Yorkshire Water Services Limited,

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

EIR Compliance, Yorkshire Water Services Limited

Reference Number: 504

Dear Katharine Quarmby,

The Yorkshire Water Services Ltd Data Protection Team acknowledges your request today for information.

We will respond to your request for information in compliance with the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

The Regulations allow us 20 working days to respond to a request from the date of its receipt. However, occasionally it is necessary to extend the 20-working-day time limit for issuing a response if the complexity and volume of the information makes it impractical for us to respond within the original deadline. If this is the case we will notify you of this delay.

You will be informed in advance if there is a charge for supplying copies of the information. We will also provide you with an explanation if we are unable to disclose and respond to your request. If the requested information contains references to any third parties, we may need to consult with them before deciding whether to release the information.

Should you have any queries regarding your request, please feel free to contact us quoting reference EIR 504

Yours sincerely,
Data Protection Team

Email: [email address]

show quoted sections

EIR Compliance, Yorkshire Water Services Limited

Reference Number: EIR 504

 

Dear Ms Katharine Quarmby

 

I refer to your request for information submitted to Yorkshire Water dated
12 October 2022.

 

Please find the data which you have requested.  Included with this email
are the response to your questions.

 

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.

 

Yorkshire Water sites that have known asbestos containing material (ACM)
are regularly reinspected for damage and deterioration through Yorkshire
Water’s approved framework asbestos contractors in line with Regulation 4
of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR 2012): Duty to manage
Asbestos in non-domestic premises, and the guidance given in HSG 227.

 

Each site is inspected at least once a year. A total of 316 inspections
are carried out on these sites annually.  This number can vary slightly
dependent on the condition of any materials found.

 

In addition to the re-inspections of known ACM, a further 423 management
surveys were carried out on the sites detailed above during the period
2017 – 2021.

 

Further refurbishment surveys are carried out on an ad hoc basis when
required.  This is generally when intrusive work is required on an asset
that has the potential to contain ACM, the criteria for this is when the
asset is known to pre-date the year 2000 or the date the asset was
installed is unknown.  During 2020 – 2021, 98 refurbishment surveys were
carried out on these sites.

 

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.

 

There were 58 incidences of damaged ACM found on the above sites in the
period 2017-2021. Of those, 27 have had remedial works carried out by
licensed asbestos removal contractors to remove or repair the material. 
These 27 instances were prioritised by risk of exposure, including
material type, degradation and proximity to working areas. The remaining
31 are planned to be abated as part of a risk reduction scheme or are part
of larger refurbishment works where further investigation is required or
removal is planned in conjunction with our contract partners.  During this
period these assets will continue to be reinspected for signs of further
degradation so that their priority can be reassessed.

 

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

Yorkshire Water had no breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations
(2012) that 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.

 

Health Based Guidelines:

In 1993, and re-confirmed in 2004, 2011 and 2021, the World Health
Organization (WHO) evaluated asbestos and concluded that, whilst asbestos
is a known human carcinogen by the inhalation route, available
epidemiological studies do not support the hypothesis that an increased
cancer risk is associated with the ingestion of asbestos in drinking
water. It is considered inappropriate to derive SNARLs (Suggest No Adverse
Response Level) for asbestos in drinking water and no UK or WHO drinking
or environmental water standards or guidelines exist for it.

[1]https://cdn.dwi.gov.uk/wp-content/upload...

 

Regulatory standards:

There is no requirement under the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations
to monitor potable supplies for asbestos and as such no regulatory limit
has been set.

 

To confirm, we do not take water quality samples for asbestos.

 

I trust that the provision of this data satisfies your request.  In
accordance with the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, if you are
not satisfied with this reply to your request you can ask for an internal
review.  A request for an internal review must be submitted within 40
working days by contacting the Data Protection Team.

 

Thank you for contacting Yorkshire Water.

 

Yours sincerely,

Data Protection Team

 

Email: [2][email address]

 

 

 

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Yorkshire Water Services Limited
Registered Office Western House, Halifax Road, Bradford, BD6 2SZ
Registered in England and Wales No 2366682

References

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1. https://cdn.dwi.gov.uk/wp-content/upload...
2. mailto:[Yorkshire Water request email]