Thursday, April 25, 2024

Cause of Christchurch water plant blaze not yet known

The extent of damage to Christchurch’s Wastewater Treatment Plant won’t be known until the fire in the trickling filters is completely out, Christchurch City Council (CCC) said in a statement today.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand still has crews working on the fire, which started yesterday afternoon on the roof of Trickling Filter No2 and then spread across to Trickling Filter No1.

Nearly 50 firefighters battled the blaze at its peak. The fire was brought under control around 6pm last night but firefighters remain on scene dampening down hotspots.

CCC Head of Three Waters and Waste, Helen Beaumont says despite the damage to the trickling filters, the wastewater treatment plant can still accept the full sewage flow from the city.

“We have contingency plans in place for the wastewater plant and can bring back-up systems into service,’’ Ms Beaumont says.

“Staff are working on ways to optimise the efficiency of the functioning treatment processes so that we can compensate for bypassing the trickling filters.’’

She said contractors were working on the roof completing a refurbishment project when the fire started, but the cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

“We have engaged an independent investigator and are working with both Fire and Emergency New Zealand and Worksafe to establish what happened.’’

Ms Beaumont says until a full damage assessment is undertaken, it is not possible to say how long, or how much it will cost, to replace the trickling filters.

“This work will be undertaken as soon as it is safe to do,” she said.

Latest Articles