Treatment plant stench to get worse as contractors begin removing rotting material

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Jun 04, 2022 |

Photo: Christchurch City Council

Work to remove material from the fire-damaged trickling filters at the Christchurch Wastewater Treatment Plant gets underway next week.

Southern Demolition and Salvage Limited is doing a test run on removing and transporting the material inside the trickling filters today Saturday ahead of the full work programme beginning on Tuesday 7 June.

The test run will help establish how many truckloads of material can be excavated and transported each day.

The rotting material will go through a chipper at the treatment plant site, before being compacted and transported to Kate Valley Landfill.

Christchurch City Council Head of Three Waters Helen Beaumont said two chippers will be used to help process the material quickly.

“While the chippers are being used, residents will notice more noise from the site. We will be monitoring noise levels during the test run and exploring a range of temporary and long-term measures to help keep the noise down. We will provide the community with more information on these measures when they are confirmed.”

Christchurch City Council Head of Three Waters Helen Beaumont. Photo: Christchurch City Council

“Unfortunately, during the removal 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.’’

Once the material from inside the trickling filters has been chipped and compacted, it will be placed into bins lined with a tough plastic membrane and sealed. The plastic membrane should contain any smell, reducing the likelihood that residents and businesses along the route to the landfill will be impacted by odours during transportation.

The trucks carrying the filter material will travel along Breezes Road, SH74 and SH1, through Waimakariri and Hurunui Districts, to Kate Valley Landfill in North Canterbury.

At the Kate Valley Landfill, the sealed membranes will be removed from the bins and disposed of as hazardous waste.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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