WE HAVE LONG BEEN CONCERNED ABOUT DRINKING WATER PIPES – THEY KEEP BURSTING AND SOME ARE MADE OF ASBESTOS CEMENT
Cranleigh Society members have done their best to persuade Waverley Borough Council (WBC) and Thames Water (TW) to renew our drinking water pipes.
We believe this should be planned and completed before the new housing is attached to the network for two reasons – the pipes are 50-70 yrs old and getting close to the end of their lives Due to this frequent bursts occur causing major disruption . The latest guidelines for new housing also state that the water pressure must be higher than the previous norm.
In addition, you may have seen that Cranleigh Society member Adrian Clarke has recently worked with the Financial Times (article dated 30-March-19) concerning the asbestos cement used in around 29% of Cranleigh’s water supply pipes, some of which contains the more worrying “blue” type.
So the World Health Organisation (WHO) must look into the problem and are looking for funds so that they can. Our MP Anne Milton is aware of the potential issue, it having been raised during the regular ‘flood forums’ that she has established.
WBC have done some investigation and have summarised the situation – Tom Horwood, the CEO of WBC stated “This whole issue keeps coming back to the established view of the lack of harm of ingested asbestos, which we would all like reviewed.”
Like many other health concerns there is no evidence that stands up at the moment to say there is definitely a problem with ingested asbestos from the drinking water, or indeed that there isn’t. At present, no one knows.
To put you in the picture – The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) told Cranleigh Society late in 2016 that, under clause 79 of The Water Industry 1991 (as amended), it is our local authority’s responsibility to risk assess this issue, and HSE gave us help in preparing the hazard report we sent to WBC on 29-Jan-17. The Drinking Water Inspectorate’s(DWI) (and hence Thames Water’s) advice to WBC was based on the following paragraph taken from the 1996 WHO report:
“Although the carcinogenicity of inhaled asbestos is well established, there is no conclusive evidence that ingested asbestos is carcinogenic (1,3,16). ….”
But the animal tests were done to assess the risk of chrysotile, amosite and tremolite asbestos contaminated talc used as fillers in processed foods in the USA in the 1960s and early 1970s. Crocidolite (blue) asbestos, the worst one and the one we are concerned about in Cranleigh, was not tested because it is not a contaminant in North American talc deposits. Also, the asbestos tested was ground down (milled) into mainly sub-microscopic particles in the same machines as would be used for processing talc, so they didn’t contain complete whole fibres as would be the case from bursts in water pipes. If you’ve got a bit of spare time, Google the reports (references 17, 18 and 19 in the WHO 1996 report) and follow the trail to check out what I just stated. This would suggest that the 1996 WHO report is irrelevant. No “blue” asbestos was looked for.
A few months ago, in 2018, the latest WHO statement came out (WHO information is always based on their latest update): The link is –
“All forms of asbestos are carcinogenic to humans. Exposure to asbestos causes cancer of the lung, larynx, and ovaries, and also mesothelioma (a cancer of the pleural and peritoneal linings).”
Our concern is risk of peritoneal mesothelioma from crocidolite (blue) asbestos, and this is what we asked WBC to risk assess.
The good thing is that as these failing asbestos cement pipes in Cranleigh are really so old, Thames Water is gradually having to replace them all anyway, so it is only a temporary problem. Other areas in the UK may be at greater risk, particularly Suffolk/Norfolk and Cornwall, where a much higher percentage of asbestos cement pipes per head of population were installed, and where lower population density and less aggressive soil pH could extend the free fibre risk over a longer period.
Asbestos refers to six unique minerals — chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, anthophyllite, tremolite and actinolite — belonging to the serpentine and amphibole families. … Crocidolite (blue asbestos) was commonly used to insulate steam engines. It was also used in some spray-on coatings, pipe insulation, plastics and cement products. Serpentine is not a toxic rock. It sometimes contains the fibrous mineral chrysotile asbestos,
The notes below were found on a US web site – https://www.mesotheliomaguide.com/mesothelioma/peritoneal/
How Does Peritoneal Mesothelioma Develop?
Asbestos fibers are ingested. This can happen after being inhaled, coughed up, and then swallowed.
The body attempts to filter and remove them, but the sharp fibers can lodge into the lining of the abdomen (peritoneum). The fibers irritate the peritoneum and can cause genetic damage to cells.
Genetic damage can keep cells from receiving important signals about when to stop replicating. This causes unchecked cell division and the formation of a malignant tumor. It can take decades for this process to happen.
Spring has sprung! Lots to report – please read on…..
Cranleigh Society Social meetings – Monday 11th March From 6.30 at Three Horseshoes pub – remember you can order food if you would like to – some of us do. And please remember we need your support and ideas.
COMMUNITY! If you belong to another group in Cranleigh please contribute to our cause – are you a member of a Resident Association, or similar – then we would like to hear from you!
This Week – Cranleigh Parish Council needs you!
Village Hall on Wednesday evening 7pm to discuss the hospital project CVHT hostel for health workers & HC-One private care home plus 20 NHS & SCC beds
Village Hall on Thursday all day and early evening to discuss Cranleigh’s Plan – Cranleigh Neighbourhood Plan. It has been written, we have to respond then it goes to an inspector, then we have to vote! And only after that all succeeds can Cranleigh be better off regarding planning permissions because it has an Adopted Plan!
Meetings with Waverley Councillors & Officers continue
Cranleigh Civic Society and Waverley Borough Council Officers and Borough & Parish Councillors met up to discuss concerns and prompt ACTIONS.
They urge the community to communicate strongly either to Cranleigh Parish Council or Waverley Borough Council or any group such as Cranleigh Civic Society so that your voices can be heard. In turn they weigh up all the responses and in the context of the law and their own strategies.
The topics and questions covered are the key questions you all ask us. The responses are in some cases detailed and satisfactory and in others we must continue to try to get improvements and changes.
Waverley is working hard – to reduce costs and confusion, and reduce the problems they have to deal with – by communicating better and responding where possible in helpful ways.
Community Recycling Centres – Waverley agree that if these services close to save Surrey County Council money, WBC will have to pay for the removal of fly tipped matter – so please everyone write to Cllr Andrew Povey and explain your ideas about what to do. He is leading a task force and has asked for everyone’s suggestions/evidence to keep the CRC open e.g. levy our Parish precept as we do to ensure the toilets stay open? email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Most of you will most likely have seen and signed this petition to keep our recycling centre open (it’s had a brief stay of execution but it’s days are numbered) but if not please do! Unless of course you don’t mind having to schlep over to Witley or the other side of Guildford at the weekend to dispose of any waste… Click on link, share with friends. It takes 5 secs. https://petitions.surreycc.gov.uk/CranleighCRC/
Drinking Water pipes – please report problems and bursts to Cranleigh Parish Council so that they can continue to press Thames Water to sort them out, They need replacing whether or not there is a health risk associated with bursts (blue asbestos fibres). We are hoping that someone in authority can help the World Health Authority to set up a new world wide investigation into the use of asbestos cement fresh water pipes. Come to the flood forum 22nd March for more – we will have microphones and a PA system – details below.
A comment about our water pipes has been found reminding us of the complicated nature of it all – “The National Water Council spent 4 years and a lot of money trying to develop a method of resin lining asbestos cement pipes to slow down exfoliation, but in the end they gave up as no one could come up with a reliable, lasting installation method. Some of the pipe manufacturers sprayed the insides of their pipes with bitumen, but the NWC tested that and found it didn’t last long so they never endorsed it”.
Flooding – it’s essential that you report flooding to Cranleigh Parish Council so that they can press Waverley BC and all other bodies that keep the house buildings going on. Photos with dates and times are essential please.
Cranleigh Leisure Centre – Waverley have paid for outside expert advice and consulted with Cranleigh Parish councillors who in turn say they have their “ears to the ground” and know what people want. Waverley must now decide what to do next but it’s delicate because the Leisure centre is run by an outside business and they have the right to be dealt with in private.
Planning permissions – if you can’t find out how to tell Waverley how you feel about planning permissions please contact the Clerk at Cranleigh Parish Council for the reference number and details. All PPs go to our Parish councils as soon as they are made. Glebelands school sports pitch has long since been assumed to be given up for a new Cranleigh Primary school – but there are problems….. Cranleigh School – private – has withdrawn its application to build 40 houses opposite Notcutts. The housing along Elmbridge Road is being built – watch and report! HC-One Care home with 20 hospital beds for the community, and CVHT’s hostel are both being looked at by Waverley at the moment – see above item about the meeting this week.
The future of sport in Cranleigh – Waverley have a department that works on providing sports facilities. They state that Cranleigh school – PRIVATE – was never involved in the building planning permission levy – Section106 money for a new all weather pitch in Cranleigh. Something is being considered if and when there is planning permission for Surrey County Council to build on Glebelands sports field (it has been reported that this field is unused because is floods).
Lost income from levying builders – S106 & CIL – it’s complicated! Let’s just say it’s all a matter of delicate decision making to make sure houses are built and money comes in for small projects – not major roads etc. The CIL – COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE LEVY – can be used after March 1st 2019. but at the discretion of the council. When S106 or CIL money becomes available is a complicated matter…… we have been explained to and we have a spreadsheet if you are interested.
Trees and Hedgerows – Waverley says that trees impact is part of the planning balance required by national policy. We say Waverley’s strategy must be strengthened. Do you have photos and details of destruction or better of protection needed?
Planning conditions – must be undertaken – if you believe some builder is breaching conditions or don’t know what conditions have been put in place then contact – email@example.com. Victoria Choularton is the Enforcement Team Leader on 01483 523008.
Communications – The Waverley Borough Council officers say their team always welcomes feedback on what can be improved and what works well – any suggestions can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org. In the mean time people are welcome to sign up to the existing newsletters on the council’s website: www.waverley.gov.uk/newsletters.
Some of Waverley’s processes and methods are being upgraded thanks to pressure from the public including Cranleigh Civic Society. Meeting up with Waverley regularly is clearly very important.
If you would like more details – join us when you can – 2nd Monday in each Month – at the Three Horseshoes Pub any time from 6.30pm, 11th March.
MP ANNE MILTON’s FLOOD FORUM FRIDAY 22nd MARCH 10.30 BAND ROOM – we will have MICROPHONES and a PA System. This meeting will include preparation leaflets to help participants understand who is on the panel, the language and the issues. We have borrowed the Lions PA system – thank you Lions – so let’s get a good crowd going – bring evidence of what is wrong.
CRANLEIGH’S RIVERS & STREAMS – message from Glen at Surrey Wildlife Trust
A history of poor management and pollution has left the Cranleigh Waters a shadow of its former self so Surrey Wildlife Trust are working with the Cranleigh community on a 3 year project, funded by Thames Water, to improve the health of the river. Understanding the issues is key to restoration so in 2018 volunteers were trained to monitor river health by sampling invertebrates on the river bed whose presence can tell us how clean the water is as well as pin point pollution and habitat issues. Monitoring is done in pairs and involves taking a 3 minute kick sample with a net to collect invertebrates such as mayflies. The invertebrates are then counted and the score can tell us what sort of state the river is in. By taking a snap shot of the catchment using this method we can focus our efforts to maximise our impact. Later in the Summer there will be a number of volunteer restoration days installing habitat in to the stream to create opportunities for wildlife and kick start natural processes. A rivers workshop will also be held in the summer to present the findings of all the investigations to the community and look at next steps.
Freshwater Watch are carrying out their annual Water Blitz in the Thames Region which involves volunteers taking samples of their local watercourses. For those of you that are interested in taking part please see the details below:
A MESSAGE FROM THE SURREY WILDLIFE TRUST:
We would like to invite you and your fellow members of Surrey Wildlife Trust again to join us on the 19th and 20th October for the autumn’s Thames Water Blitz as part of a great number of efforts to understand the water quality in river Thames catchment. This year, we are running a two day Water Blitz which coincides with the start of half-term for the majority of schools. We hope this will be a good opportunity for schools and families to join in with freshwater research.
The Thames Water Blitz is a two-day event held in spring and autumn where volunteers in the Thames Valley collect as many water quality samples as possible. The purpose is to get an overview of the water quality in lakes, ponds and streams throughout the Thames Valley.
This Water Blitz will be the seventh such event and it is timed to coincide with the regular Thames sample run undertaken by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) as part of a long-term monitoring programme of the Thames and its tributaries. Along with data collected by CEH and data held by the Environment Agency continued Thames Water Blitz efforts complement monitoring by providing information from areas and water body types that would otherwise not be monitored. This could be a particularly interesting Water Blitz given the UK heatwave this summer.
Click here to read what Dr Steven Loiselle has to say about the UK water crisis and the importance of water monitoring. Water Blitz is also a fun learning experience for any volunteer that is interested in their local environment, and would like to learn more about water quality.
By following this link: https://ewgis.org/waterblitz-registration/, you will be able to find further information and results from previous Thames Water Blitz events where we have partnered with Wild Oxfordshire and the Freshwater Habitats trust (amongst others).
Please sign up to help restore our local “Rivers” – Cranleigh Waters! Will you join in so that the water flows better and the wildlife come back? We all want and need a thriving river. It starts with counting what’s there at the moment.
SURREY WILDLIFE TRUST
Surrey Wildlife Trust has secured some funds to do some much needed restoration works but really need volunteers to help on the following days :-
Wednesday 29th August 10am till 3pm
Saturday 15th September 10am till 3pm
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HELP PLEASE CONTACT GLENSKELTON YOURSELVES AT
“The project: In partnership with Thames Water, Surrey Wildlife Trust are working to restore the Cranleigh Waters back to a thriving river. To do this we need your help. We are recruiting volunteers in the area to join our team of regular Riverfly monitors who sample the aquatic life that lives on the river bed”
Please also consider joining Surrey Wildlife Trust – they are amazing and there are not enough staff to look after everything that needs to be cared for.
We thought we’d put together the following overview of what we are working on at the moment to keep you in the loop. Please feel free to comment or let us know if you have any questions and we’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.
Due to the Government’s need to build more houses in the South East, the lack of a Green Belt around Cranleigh, the position we were in having no “Local Plan” (WBC now have one, but it’s subject to Judicial Review) and our Borough Councillors being outnumbered on the Joint Planning Committee (JPC) of Waverley Borough Council (WBC); numerous large planning applications have been successful, resulting in around 1,700 additional homes being built.
Cranleigh Civic Society has scrutinised the major planning applications and brought pressure to bear on the planning authority – WBC – bringing attention to poor design and deficiencies details and suggesting alterations to improve them.
CCS ensures Councillors of all areas understand the problems, including information that the Professional Planning Officers should provide.
CCS has put up spirited opposition to many of the planning applications, often promoting a more thorough debate and consideration of detail with some successful results.
What now? We must keep a watch on the conditions imposed by WBC and ensure they are implemented correctly. Ideally we must try to ensure no more planning permissions are granted until the housing that is in the pipeline is up, the effects are understood and supporting infrastructure is in place.
Drinking water supply and sewage treatment and removal.
CCS has put pressure on Thames Water (TW) to replace old drinking water pipes – being 50 to 70 years old and made of asbestos cement, some “blue” and very dangerous if released into the water supply and ingested.
As pipes burst TW put a programme in place to replace sections – so some success. WBC and TW have had to admit that they do not have asbestos liability insurance so they would have to pay claims themselves – very expensive to the public purse.
Thames Water has upgraded Cranleigh Sewage Treatment Works (STW) to accommodate the current housing demand and will, by law, have to do so again to meet the sewage emanating from the huge new housing developments.
Cranleigh Waters is a designated river which takes the outflow from STW . CCS has worked hard to show that this river is inadequate, and has caused depletion in fish numbers and must be re-considered. Some CCS members have undertaken river searches / water quality measuring and officially reported to and interacted with the authorities.
Ditches are being monitored thanks to CCS and Surrey Wildlife Trust is to undertake remedial work and bring life back to the river and local streams.
The Environment Agency (EA) had left Cranleigh off its watch list of threatened environments, so CCS and others worked to get Cranleigh back onto the maps and monitored regularly. The EA now works with CCS to monitor the area and make more relevant recommendations to our planning authority.
Flooding and flood plains.
CCS has worked tirelessly with the planning authority WBC, EA, and TW to point out, measure and photograph full information about flooding. The EA now records and reports flood levels, thanks to CCS. Surrey County Council (SCC) is tasked with cleaning out drains and ditches especially when heavy rains are forecast.
Anne Milton MP.
CCS has been in disucssions with Anne all along and she has started a Flood Forum in Cranleigh where many officers and local reprentatives work to improve knowledge, understanding, and even to alter laws and planning conditions. She has been able to get the attention of the movers and shakers at SCC.
Roads, Pavements, Footpaths.
CCS is in constant touch with SCC regarding potholes, flooding and traffic jams, and improvements are scheduled. A hard and lit footpath / cycleway from Cranleigh to Guildford is being looked at.
WBC’s New Local Plan shows minimal road and junction improvements at the moment, despite the new Local Plan approving 2,600 homes plus a school at Dunsfold, producing more traffic for the A281,
CCS continues to read and react to all such documents hoping to influence the authorities from our local knowledge point of view
Surrey County Council and national government say new railways are not going ahead at the moment but that there must always be a footpath and bridle way available along the old railway line.
Buses . SCC is responsible and we know of no changes at the moment.
Schools and GP surgeries
SCC must, by law, provide enough school places and doctors when the population rises.
Police & Fire Service
SCC must, by law, provide adequate cover.
Our wildlife and waterways experts have helped WBC to improve ponds and waterways. CCS congratulates Cranleigh Parish Council (CPC) for its work on creating Fields in Trust including: The Beryl Harvey field which has been saved and improved and the Centenary garden marking 100 years since the end of the first World War, which is under construction thanks to our Parish Council.
PEOPLE WBC’s interim Chief Executive and Head of Paid Services, Tom Horwood, has listened and responded to CCS’s complaints about the way officers and councillors have made us feel and he will attend a meeting next month with CCS and Councillor Julia Potts, the Leader of Waverley Council to hear more about why the residents of Cranleigh and surrounding area are so disillusioned with so many of their actions.
CCS will put forward very constructive suggestions to support our local knowledge and expertise hoping to work more effectively together in the future.
Liz Townsend was the inspirational first chair of CCS until she was voted onto CPC, then Waverley Borough Council and she is doing a great job.
Steve Jeacock was a member of CCS committee and was also voted onto CPC and has worked hard to represent all our views.
Adrian Clarke is our key attribute regarding drinking water pipes and the risks posed by their age and the blue asbestos fibres they contain.
We welcome your input!
Set up in 2014 by volunteers for the Neighbourhood Plan, the committee of CCS has worked hard and morphed into a quietly professional group of careful researchers and communicators to help keep Cranleigh special – speaking up for all.
The committee of eight needs help and support please.
WEB SITE, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, MEMBERSHIP, NEWSLETTERS are all proving a great success and we welcome input for the web site including valued photos and stories. We also welcome help with these applications.
Becoming a member and supporter helps to tell the Councils what the public really know and want and feel.