ZB

Financial support for residents living close to damaged wastewater treatment plant

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 17 May 2022, 8:42pm
The three-storey high wastewater treatment plant in Bromley, Christchurch. Photo / Supplied
The three-storey high wastewater treatment plant in Bromley, Christchurch. Photo / Supplied

Financial support for residents living close to damaged wastewater treatment plant

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 17 May 2022, 8:42pm

The Christchurch City Council will vote on a financial support package for residents directly affected by the stench emanating from the fire-damaged wastewater treatment plant in Bromley at a council meeting on Thursday. 

It follows a briefing provided by council staff to on Tuesday following urgent discussions with partner agencies on what help the city could provide to the affected community, and as quickly as possible. 

It comes after residents at a packed public meeting last Friday night demanded action from the council on the awful stench they have put up with since the wastewater treatment plant caught fire six months ago. 

Mayor Lianne Dalziel apologised profusely to the packed-out Bromley Community Hall. 

She told John MacDonald on NewstalkZB that the council "completely screwed up". 

The stench has cast a pall over the city depending on which way the wind blew, and has been described as "putrid" and "sickening". 

The mayor admitted there were days when the pong was "utterly overpowering". Some residents said they could not sleep or open their windows. 

Mayor Dalziel said residents living near the plant were bearing the brunt of the stench. 

"If you can smell it in Ilam, you can imagine what it is like in Bromley," she said. 

"They have told us their power bills have gone up because they are using dehumidifiers and fans all the time because they cannot leave their windows open," said Dalziel. 

The mayor agreed that given the exceptional circumstances and the extra costs residents have shouldered that "it is appropriate that they should receive some financial assistance from the Council." 

"Councillors have indicated that they want to make support available to households in the immediate vicinity of the plant. 

"We want to make that support available as quickly as possible. We also want it to be easy for residents to access the support they need. This is why we are working in partnership with existing community and government agencies,'' the Mayor said. 

A demolition team has moved equipment on site and will begin the task of scooping out the rotting material inside the treatment plant next month. 

An update on the situation will be provided to the Finance and Performance Committee on Thursday and seek the Council's approval vote on the funding and support package for the affected community.