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The goal to have sewer service returned to all city homes by the end of August is to stand, despite set-backs caused by the 13 June earthquakes.
Good progress had been made on the clearing of silt and sand from city sewers prior to 13 June, with more than 20,000 homes in the chemical toilet distribution area told they could stop using chemical and portable toilets. However, the earthquakes caused significant set-backs in the process and around 90 per cent of homes in the 30,000-strong chemical toilet distribution area were once again asked to use chemical toilets.
This set-back was expected to affect the 30 August 2011 goal of returning sewer services – either through connection to the network or temporary solutions – to all homes. However, Christchurch City Council Water and Waste Manager Mark Christison says staff and contractors have been working tirelessly over past weeks to get the system back up and running and the progress has been significant.
“There is still a lot of work to do to before we get everyone connected and it will be a stretch to keep the original end of August deadline. However, I’m confident in the work the water and waste teams are doing and we are eager to get people back to using their household toilets as soon as possible.”
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says it is great news for those worst-affected by the earthquakes that an end to the need for chemical and portable toilets is in sight.
“We all accepted that after the 13 June quakes there would be set backs and we understood that this could mean delays in previous timeframes. To hear that we are going to hit our original targets after all is outstanding.
“I would like to thank our water and waste team and all the contractors who have worked tirelessly through the evenings and weekends to get the system back up and running. These people are also facing their own personal hardships as a result of the earthquakes and yet they carry on.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the way our city has pulled-together over past months, with everyone doing their best to help each other through difficult times,” Mr Parker says.
Since the 13 June earthquake, around 18,000 households have been told they can start using their household toilets again, with information flyers delivered directly to their letterboxes.
View the map of the chemical toilet distribution area online under the Wastewater section to see whether you should continue using your chemical toilet. Residents will receive an information flyer in their letterbox once the sewers in their street have been cleared and they can start using their household toilet again.