'Canadians should be very concerned about their drinking water': W5 investigates asbestos cement pipes

Eric Szeto, Producer CTV News W5 on March 24, 2023

Did you know there are asbestos cement pipes underground across Canada? I didn’t until I started researching this story. I actually had no idea what asbestos cement pipes were. All I knew was that asbestos fibres can be deadly, especially if inhaled.

So it was to my surprise when I learned that these pipes, installed decades ago and all nearing end-of-life, were still not only in use but were also delivering tap water to Canadians. And as these pipes deteriorate and fail — they leach asbestos into the water.

This came as a complete shock for Michael Abercrombie — a plumber who used to work with asbestos cement pipes in the ‘70s and ‘80s. And at the time he used these pipes only for sewers and storm drains around Collingwood, Ont. — never for drinking water.

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