Work delayed after asbestos find

Work delayed after asbestos find

The discovery of asbestos-bonded material had delayed the completion of the drainage basin project until March 2022. Picture - Liam Ducey.

The construction of a stormwater drainage basin in Cannington will be delayed by at least five months after the discovery of asbestos-bonded material on the site.

East Cannington Reserve, a popular public open space for the local community, has been closed since June due to a drainage upgrade project planned to enhance flood protection and relieve pressure on the local stormwater drainage system.

The upgrade was due to be complete by September 2021, however in the first week of July, asbestos-bonded material was discovered on the site.

A Water Corporation spokesman said the discovery of Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) was not uncommon.

“Finding ACM in soil is common in Western Australia due to its historical widespread use as fill material for site landscaping and building materials, like cement sheeting and vinyl floor tiles,” the spokesperson said.

“This is believed to be the source of ACM at the reserve.

“The Department of Health considers bonded ACM in soil, like the type found at East Cannington Reserve, to be very low risk.”

While work was halted on the site immediately, the City of Canning was not notified until July 14, at least one-and-a-half weeks after the discovery, with Water Corporation explaining that gap as due to initial investigations to determine the extent and asses the next steps.

Canning Mayor Patrick Hall confirmed that while the Water Corporation fenced of the impacted site, the City took action to fence off the playground and toilets on the Station Street side of the reserve.

Work to remove the material from the site is expected to commence in November, with full removal anticipated to be complete by Christmas.

The end date of the project has been pushed back five months to March 2022.