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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

5000 city homes soon able to resume flushing

5000 city homes soon able to resume flushing

Last updated 05:00 11/05/2011
Another 5000 earthquake-hit households are again able to flush, with thousands more expected to resume using their toilets by the end of the week.

Sewerage was yesterday restored to 3200 homes in St Albans, Shirley and Westhaven, following 1800 homes in Queenspark on Monday.

The Christchurch City Council said other areas would be advised that they could resume flushing their toilets today or tomorrow.

About 40,000 eastern Christchurch homes have been unable to or advised not to use their toilets since the February quake, relying instead on portaloos and about 30,000 chemical toilets.

Sewerage was last week restored to the first 860 homes, in Waimairi Beach, with the council saying up to 15,000 households should be able to flush within four weeks.

Council water and waste manager Mark Christison said sucking and jetting trucks had been clearing silt from blocked pipes since the quake, but it would be years before more than 300 kilometres of damaged pipes would be fixed.

"The pipes are still damaged, but in the gravity system, sewage will still flow through pipes unless they are completely munted."

The sewerage system was still leaking about 37 million litres of sewage a day to rivers and the Avon-Heathcote Estuary, but this was expected to lessen as about 10 kilometres of damaged pressure mains were replaced in the next three months, he said.

The sewerage system will probably account for about $1.2 billion of the estimated $3b infrastructure rebuild.

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