Temporary solutions restore sewer service

Posted 04 Jun 2011 by Swiggs Popular

The Christchurch City Council is this week contacting some residents in the worst-affected areas of the city to advise that temporary measures are being taken to restore sewer service to their homes

A further 30 areas have been identified in the worst-affected eastern suburbs where these temporary measures are necessary. The Council and contractors will this week notify these properties that alternative measures are being investigated with the aim of restoring  services (use of toilet, shower, washing machine and dishwasher) to these badly affected areas by the end of August 2011.

Council Water and Waste Manager Mark Christison says alternative solutions could include any of the following:

  • Temporary shallow sewers to bypass broken sewer pipes
  • Temporary pump stations to pump to operational sewers
  • Using sections of intact sewers as tanks and using sucker trucks to clear these regularly
  • For the most difficult properties a temporary sewer tank similar to those installed after the 4 September earthquake - this would be cleared by regular sucker truck visits.

“Over the past month, we have progressed the clearing of silt and sand from the wastewater network and have released more than 20,000 properties from the need to use chemical toilets or portaloos.

“However, there are still areas where the sewer network has been so badly damaged that the clearing work does not restore the service. Permanent repairs will take some time to complete, so we are installing these temporary measures in the meantime to make it a little more comfortable for residents.”

This week, these households will receive a flyer in their letterbox letting them know that investigations are happening in their area and the Council will be in touch soon with more information about the solution that will be put in place.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says the Council recognises the difficulties these people have faced since the 22 February earthquake.

“We want to ensure we do all we can to restore some level of service to these properties. The target deadline for completion of work in these areas is the end of August 2011 and I hope this timeline helps give them some more certainty.

“We have a big job ahead of us to fully repair the city’s damaged water pipes, wastewater network and roads and it will be some years before this is complete. In the meantime, we continue to look at measures than can be taken to get these people back on the system – at least in a temporary nature – as quickly as possible.

“I would like to thank everyone for their patience over past months and for the efforts they have made while emergency response measures, and now recovery solutions, have been put in place.”


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