Friday, November 15, 2019


Drawing 73-08, drawn by R Crane on behalf of Walter, Fedy, McCargar, Hachborn consulting engineers, kitchener, ontario. That is the source of my information that asbestos cement pipe was used to transport water in Elmira. Various pipes and sizes were used including cast iron, copper, and steel. Supposedly there was even some plastic pipe although to date I haven't been able to find which specific street or streets have it. And yes asbestos cement pipe was used in water mains in numerous areas around Elmira. These areas include the downtown and the older residential areas in Elmira. They do not include Birdland or the Bristow Creek subdivision on the west side of Elmira along Church St. They do include and or are close to a number of schools. The appropriate location for the date of this map is not filled in. Whether the drawing number (73-08) perhaps refers to 1973 I do not know. My guess from looking at the map of Elmira and various missing subdivisions is that it was drawn between 1980 and 1990.

By googling asbestos cement pipe one can readily determine that asbestos cement pipe was never a good idea. In fact anybody with a brain at all should have been incredibly leery about using any product with asbestos in it for just about anything much less for water piping. The lethality of asbestos was discovered as early as the late 1800s. Yes it was around in Roman times and they paid the price for both lead and asbestos useage. Asbestos fibres get into the air and into people's lungs causing a disease called mesothelioma.

Asbestos cement pipe was manufactured and used heavily in towns and cities between 1931 and the 1950s. Twenty plus years of stupidity quite frankly, although I expect that our credentialed experts and professional engineers thought it was just dandy. Somewhat like bought and paid for engineers and psuedo hydrogeologists running the cleanup of the Elmira Aquifers.

Interestingly we the public are slowly becoming aware of the dangers of lead pipe transporting our water supplies. Not so much as a whisper however about asbestos cement pipe. The question for me is as to how much of this asbestos cement pipe has been removed or replaced by Woolwich Township to date. Maybe this is the hidden aspect of our special infrastructure fund. One thing I do know and that is that bald claims and reassurances from Woolwich Township staff and politicians are not worth the paper they are not written on. Even written claims of replacement/removal/remediation mean nothing without serious evidence and backup. I've been trying to get my questions answered regarding methane in and around Bolender Park for three years and all I've gotten from Woolwich is obfuscation, delay, disrespect and ignorance. The Ontario MOE/MECP are just as bad or worse.

P.S. To date I have passed along my findings to three Woolwich councillors first, followed by local media, and CPAC. I admit that giving the three councillors slightly less than 24 hours to do something is a little unrealistic. That said, a note or e-mail confirmation of receipt of my e-mail would have been nice.

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