Fire at Christchurch water treatment plant contained

Source: 1News

Dark smoke has been seen billowing over Christchurch on Monday as a large blaze burns at a wastewater plant in the city's east.

Fire and Emergency NZ Group Commander Dave Berry says they're responding to the fire at a wastewater treatment plant in Bromley that began at 3pm.

He says says nine crews have been on site dealing with the blaze over the past three hours.

At its peak nearly 50 firefighters were working on the fire. Some crews have now been released.

While the smoke has dwindled, there was a “large amount of smoke” over Christchurch,” he says.

The fire is now contained, but remains active and Fire and Emergency is expecting to remain on site all night. A fire investigator is also on site to help determine the cause.

Because of the smoke drift across the city, the Canterbury District Health Board is advising people affected by the smoke to stay indoors and keep doors and windows closed.

The smoke is expected to linger for the next few hours.

According to the Christchurch City Council, "the fire is believed to have started on the roof on the No2 Trickling Filter before jumping across to the roof of the No1 Trickling Filter.

Closeup view of the Christchurch wastewater plant fire.

"There were contractors working on the roof when the fire broke out. No one was injured and the site is being evacuated.

"The roofs on both the trickling filters have collapsed."

Adam Twose, manager of operations for Christchurch City Council said there will be some impact on the wastewater treatment plant.

“We will be able to treat the sewage to a good standard before it goes out and just to remind people to use water and flush their toilets as normal,” he says.