Wastewater Treatment Plant - trickling filter material removal



Southern Demolition and Salvage Ltd will begin removing the rotting material from inside the fire-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.


A test -run to remove material will be held on Friday 3 and Saturday 4 June 2022. The full work programme will begin on Tuesday 7 June until September 2022.


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.

Removing the burnt material

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.

The rotting material will be put through a chipper and compacted while still at the treatment plant site. We are using two chippers to help us process the material quickly. Once chipped and compacted, a tough plastic membrane will be used to seal the material for transport.

Unfortunately, during the work 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.

While the chippers are being used, residents should anticipate increased noise from the site. The chippers will operate between the hours of 6:30am and 9pm, six days a week (Monday to Saturday). We will monitor the noise levels at the boundary of the closest houses during Friday and Saturday’s test-run, and are exploring a range of measures to help reduce the level of noise from the chippers.

Please note that sheet-piling of the ramp to the second trickling filter could start towards the end of next week, or early the week of June 13. This will mean some of you will experience ground vibrations as the sheet piles are driven into the ground.

Community support package

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).

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.