Wastewater Treatment Plant - trickling filter material removal



We are removing the material from inside the damaged trickling filters at the Wastewater Treatment Plant.


The rotting material inside the trickling filters is one of the two main sources of pungent smells that are affecting residents after the November 2021 fire.


On the north-eastern side of the Christchurch Wastewater Treatment Plant precinct.


From 6 June 2022 until September 2022 (weather/site condition dependent).


Please phone Patrick Cantillon on 03 941 8999 or 0800 800 169, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.


Southern Demolition and Salvage Ltd is about to begin the complex task of removing the burnt and rotting material from inside the fire-damaged trickling filters at the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Now that the establishment works have been completed, the contractor is expected to begin the material removal work on 6 June 2022.

This work will involve the use of two large chippers, so that the burnt material can be broken down and compacted into sealed bins.

Chipping and compacting the material will greatly reduce the number of truck movements between the Christchurch Wastewater Treatment Plant and Kate Valley Landfill, where the material will be disposed of.

Having two chippers operating will lead to increased noise from the site between the hours of 6:30am and 9pm, six days a week (Monday-Saturday) as the material is chipped and compacted. We will monitor the noise levels at the boundary with the closest houses.

We’re exploring a range of measures to help reduce the level of noise from the chippers.

Southern Demolition will use an excavator and hydraulic grab to reach over the walls of the trickling filters and extract all of the material. This is a huge task as the structures are eight metres high and there is about 26,000 cubic metres – about the volume of 10 Olympic swimming pools – of material to remove.

Unfortunately, during this time there will be days when the smell could get worse as material deep inside the trickling filters is exposed to the elements and starts rotting.

It’s also possible there could be some dust, but spray misters will be used continuously to control this and the odour.

The rotting material inside the trickling filters is one of the two sources of strong, unpleasant smells coming from the treatment plant after the fire.

We know the stench has been awful for those of you living nearby. If you're concerned about your health, we recommend you see your GP or health provider. If the situation is impacting your mental health, you can call or text 1737 at any time and talk to a trained counsellor for free.

You can also sign up for our regular e-newsletter at ccc.govt.nz/wastewaterfire.

We’d like to remind you that as one of the households most affected by the situation at the wastewater treatment plant, you’re able to access the Community Support Package we’ve set up.

This means you’re eligible to receive a one-off payment of $200 per household. You can access this support by visiting one of the following independent community providers with a proof of address and a photo ID.

  • Ngā Hau E Whā (250 Pages Road) is open from 9am to 3pm. They’ve requested people park in the rear car park behind the Marae and collect the grants from the Totara Room. Phone 03 382 6628.
  • He Waka Tapu (161 Pages Road) is open from 8.30am to 3pm. Phone 03 373 8150.
  • Bromley Community Centre (45 Bromley Road) is open from 9am to 2.30pm. Phone 03 389 1657.
  • The Loft (Level 1, Eastgate Shopping Centre) is open from 9am to 5pm. Phone 0800 THE LOFT (0800 865 638).