Asbestos Lurked in California City’s Water Tank

by Sokolove Law

A California city’s plan to demolish an old concrete water tank is on hold now that a sample taken from its interior tested positive for asbestos.

Demolition of the 100-year-old tank in the city of Oakdale was well underway when the work crew noticed a suspicious coating on its interior walls, according to the Oakdale Leader. Work was halted and the site secured while the sample was sent out for testing. The test detected asbestos in the sample.

Demolition was stopped immediately, and a report was filed with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, a public health agency. A plan was agreed upon to contain the asbestos at the site and remove it safely.

The discovery of asbestos at the tank was something of a surprise, since city officials ordered an asbestos survey of it before beginning the project. Samples from the exterior of the concrete tested negative, according to the Oakdale Leader.

Although asbestos abatement will increase the price tag of the project, “You can’t just leave it,” City Manager Bryan Whitemyer told the Oakdale Leader. “We have to be responsible and look out for the health and safety of the community.”

The old tank hasn’t been used since 1963 when it was replaced by a steel structure, according to the newspaper.

Until the late 1970s, asbestos was commonly used in many structures to provide insulation, fire resistance, and durability. Today, some of those structures – like the Oakdale water tank – are being demolished. Demolition of structures that contain asbestos may put workers or the public at risk for asbestos exposure if proper handling precautions aren’t used.

Exposure to asbestos can cause serious illnesses such as mesothelioma, a rare and deadly cancer. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Contact Sokolove Law today for a free case evaluation.

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