Remediation works ongoing following burst water main

Released 09/12/2018

WorkSafe ACT is supporting the safe remediation of a site on Constitution Avenue after a burst water main caused historic buried non-friable asbestos material to surface from the soil today.

The water main burst in the early hours of Sunday morning with WorkSafe ACT attending and remaining at the site throughout the day to support safety. Licensed asbestos assessors and removalists as well as experts from the Environment Protection Authority, Roads ACT and Icon Water were also in attendance.

ACT Work Safety Commissioner Greg Jones said there were no significant health risks to the broader community.

“WorkSafe ACT has been at the site throughout the day and working closely with the other experts to support the safe remediation of the area,” Mr Jones said.

“The area in which the water main burst is an area that was used in the past for the burying of builders’ waste, which is why this material surfaced.

“The asbestos was non-friable, meaning it was bonded together and not readily able to be made airborne which significantly reduced the risk it imposed.

“Further, the fact that it was washed out of the soil means it was dampened and again less likely to become airborne. Air monitoring that was undertaken throughout the day showed no elevated levels of asbestos in the area.”

Mr Jones said all visible non-friable asbestos containing material had been removed from the site by experts today.

“WorkSafe’s role over the next few days will be supporting safety at the site as further remediation and repairs on the pipe is undertaken,” he said.

“Residents, motorists driving past, or those working in the area can be confident that the work is being undertaken safely and any risk to the health of the community is negligible.”

There had been some localised road changes throughout the day to allow the work to safely take place.

Mr Jones said he expected the only change to road arrangements tomorrow would be to the east-bound traffic along Constitution Avenue between Anzac Parade and Kalma Way being restricted to one lane.

“This is to support safety of the workers as they determine the best way to repair the pipe which may mean doing further excavation to expose the pipe,” he said.

Mr Jones thanked Icon Water for their cooperation during the day and confirmed that water supply in the area had not been disrupted.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved in today’s response, including the community who may have been impacted by the changed traffic arrangements,” he said.

“Collectively we will be working to support the safe and effective remediation of the area as quickly as we can and we thank the community for their patience as this important repair work takes place.”

- Statement ends -

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