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18 March 2024

By James

Category: Industry

A Map Show Where The Asbestos Was Found In This Location

A recent mapping effort has identified six locations where asbestos has been confirmed to be present beneath the surface at Rickmansworth Aquadrome, according to information released by the Three Rivers District Council. This revelation came to light following a survey conducted in response to the cancellation of the Rickmansworth Canal Festival, which was called off due to new guidelines for managing the buried waste. For 30 years, this festival, among the UK's largest water-based celebrations, has taken place at the site, generating funds that have been instrumental in supporting educational initiatives for children and benefiting the Rickmansworth Waterways Trust charity.

The survey pinpointed asbestos contamination in five areas around Batchworth Lake and another spot near the park's southern boundary, close to the west side of the parking area. The origin of this contamination remains uncertain, but it's suspected that significant amounts of asbestos cement, textiles, insulating board, and other materials were buried at the site after gravel extraction activities in the 1920s and 1930s.

The Council Assures The Public That The Area Is Safe

Although these locations are the only ones currently confirmed, it's suspected that asbestos may be present throughout the entire site. Despite this, the council assures that the Aquadrome remains safe for everyday recreational activities such as dog walking, picnicking, and water sports, provided that these do not breach the park's "no dig" policy, which prohibits disturbing the ground.

Following the discovery of asbestos, the Rickmansworth Waterways Trust indefinitely postponed this year's Canal Festival, as the new safety measures preclude any ground-disturbing activities. The festival typically requires structures to be anchored into the ground, but with the new regulations, securing them with heavy weights above ground is necessary. Additionally, monitoring air asbestos levels before and after the event would incur costs between £5,000 and £8,000 daily.

Despite the district council's offer of advice and additional financial support in December, the trust determined it was infeasible to proceed with the festival under these constraints. Three Rivers District Council has indicated that water-based activities, including sailing, water-skiing, and fishing, should not pose a risk, as asbestos fibres in the water are believed to be contained, preventing their release into the air.

Moreover, the Aquadrome parkrun organisers have confirmed the continuation of their event, as the "no dig" policy does not impact their activities.

The map detailing the known asbestos contamination sites is based on comprehensive surveys and will be regularly updated as further investigations and remedial works are carried out.

BBC London Asbestos In The Aquadrome

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