HUNTER Water has confirmed asbestos has been discoverd in the former Stockton rubbish dump exposed by beach erosion, with a long-term plan to contain the spill still in development.
Contractors will begin their work to seal off the tip on Thursday in a bid to halt the spill of garbage into the sea.
Beachgoers have reported a quantity of plastic wrappers bearing imperial measurements, indicating they are more than four decades old, washing up on the beach.
A Hunter Water spokeswoman said testing on Monday “returned a single sample confirming the presence of friable asbestos”.
“Due to the inherent hazards of disturbing friable asbestos, workers on site will be wearing full PPE equipment for their safety,” she said.
“There is no risk to surrounding residents as a result of these works, however, Hunter Water again asks for the public’s cooperation in staying away from the site until rectification works are complete.”
READ MORE: Garbage tip washing into the sea at Stockton
Signs and temporary fencing installed last week will remain in place.
Initial works involve four excavators and geo-fabric to contain the waste. A longer-term strategy for coastal erosion in the area is under development, the spokeswoman said.
“We expect these initial works to be completed in a few days,” she said.
“The installation of the geo-fabric cover will be inspected and maintained daily by Hunter Water until further sand dune stabilisation commences in mid-February with specialist equipment currently being manufactured interstate.”
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