Managing Australia’s ageing asbestos-cement water and sewer pipes

The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency has released the Asbestos-Cement Water and Sewer Pipe Management Guidelines. www.asbestossafety.gov.au/research-publications/asbestos-cement-water-and-sewer-pipe-management-guidelines.

The Guidelines will assist organisations providing water and/or sewerage services to eliminate or minimise the risk of exposure to asbestos fibres being released from asbestos-cement water and sewer pipes (AC pipes).

It is estimated that more than 40,000 km of AC pipes remain in the ground across Australia.

AC pipes become hazardous when airborne asbestos fibres are released, which can occur when the pipes are damaged, disturbed or deteriorating. The Guidelines provide advice on how to identify, assess and control the risk of exposure to airborne asbestos fibres in accordance with current work health and safety and environment protection laws.

The Guidelines include information on controlling asbestos exposure risks during maintenance and removal of AC pipes, as well as methods to remediate deteriorating AC pipes and manage decommissioned AC pipes that remain in the ground.

The Guidelines have been developed in collaboration with industry, state and territory work health and safety regulators, environment protection regulators and trade unions.

Download the full document here