We respectfully suggest you don’t listen to the audio if you have a weak bladder!
Two days ago one of our followers asked another of our followers a question regarding Cranleigh’s collapsing water pipes…
Dear Waverley Web,
Thames Water’s tests were purely on samples of pipe (samples of broken pipe that had been collected from areas of pipe that had burst). The tests were done to establish if the pipes were made from white (crysotile) asbestos or blue (crocidolite) asbestos.
Asbestos fibres enter the water supply in two ways:
1. As pipes near the end of their design life, the inside surface gets worn away exposing and releasing free fibres. This process is called “exfoliation”.
2. When pipes burst, there is a sudden potential for volume fibre release. Eventually, when the burst gets repaired, often several hours later or in the coming days, Thames Water flush out the the pipe runs in the vicinity, but by then loose fibres would already have been dispersed deeper into the the network.
Thames Water and Cranleigh Civic Society have discussed doing tests to find out the concentration of asbestos fibres in Cranleigh’s water supply network. It would involve a lot of test samples from around the village over a long period to get accurate results. We already know that 29.6% of the drinking water supply pipes in Cranleigh are old asbestos cement pipes (though we don’t know how much is white asbestos and how much is made from blue asbestos), so if the results confirmed the presence of free asbestos fibres in the network, so what? It’s not going to surprise anyone.
ps I used to work at the Building Research Station in the 1970’s / early 1980’s researching new materials to replace asbestos fibres, so I understand the issues here.