Port St. Lucie Utility Systems’ drinking water distribution system was recently tested for asbestos. The results came back “ND,” which stands for “Not Detected,” and indicates that the substance was not found by laboratory analysis. Results are reported in Million Fibers per Liter (MFL), and again, no traces of asbestos were detected.
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) requires utilities to test their distribution system for asbestos every 9 years. To be proactive, the Utility has decided to sample every 4.5 years.
General Development Corporation (GDC) installed asbestos concrete (AC) pipe when developing Port St. Lucie in the 1960s, which was common practice and used extensively in water distribution systems throughout the country.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), asbestos fibers may be hazardous when airborne, which is why one replacement method used by the City has the AC pipe remain in the ground when being replaced with new pipe. If traditional methods are used, certified staff is required to remove and dispose of the AC pipe at a licensed hazardous landfill.
Beginning in 2021, $1,000,000 will be budgeted annually for the AC pipe replacement program. Utility Systems has also applied for the Rebuild Florida Critical Facility Hardening Program Grant for $2.970 million, plus the Rebuild Florida General Infrastructure Program Grant for $5.0 million.
Approximately 174,782 linear ft. or 33 miles of AC pipe remain in our 1,231-mile water distribution system.
For more information, contact:
Jenny Tomes, APR
Utility Marketing and Digital Video Coordinator