Asbestos-Cement Water and Sewer Pipe Management Guidelines

Date created: Date modified: 10 Feb 2022

Managing Australia’s ageing asbestos-cement water and sewer pipes: Guidelines now available

It is estimated that more than 40,000 km of asbestos-cement (AC) water and sewer pipes remain in the ground across Australia. Installed between the 1920s and 1980s, these AC pipes are reaching the end of their usable lifespan, requiring maintenance or replacement.

The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency has released the Asbestos-Cement Water and Sewer Pipe Management Guidelines to assist water and/or sewerage service providers eliminate or minimise the risk of exposure to asbestos fibres released from AC pipes.

AC pipes become hazardous when asbestos fibres are released into the air or soil, which can occur when the pipes are damaged, disturbed or deteriorating. The Guidelines provide practical 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 water and sewer pipes, as well as methods to safely remediate deteriorating AC pipes and manage decommissioned AC pipes that remain in the ground.

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

 

A stakeholder pack is available to assist organisations who wish to promote the release of these guidelines to their members. Please email engage@asbestossafety.gov.au to request a copy of the pack.