Asbestos-laden water piping needs '$8 billion upgrade'
WATER consumers will face a hefty estimated charge of $8 billion to safely remove asbestos piping being used in Australia, according to the nation's peak water industry body.
About 40,000 kilometres of water pipelines contain asbestos cement that is starting to wear out, the body said.
It is not widely realised that many of Australia's water pipes were made by Australia's biggest asbestos manufacturer, James Hardie.
"Hardies had a number of factories around the country that just made pipes and they were predominantly used by the different water companies around Australia," said lawyer Tanya Segelov, who is a member of the council for the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency.
"There are millions and millions of pipes around the country that remain in the ground that are now 50, 60 or 70 years old."