Media Advisory, 4pm Friday 15 April 2011: Christchurch water – everyone needs to limit water use

Mayor Bob Parker encourages all Christchurch residents to limit their water use: “The earthquake destroyed almost a third of our sewerage system across the city.

“Therefore, everyone in Christchurch needs to limit water use and flush the toilet only when necessary – not just people in the most affected parts of the city.

“If everyone in Christchurch doesn’t limit water use and toilet flushing, there’s a big risk the sewerage system won’t cope and won’t be restored over the next year as scheduled.

“If the wastewater plant fails, everyone in Christchurch will suffer. The worst-case scenario would be a public health issue across all of Christchurch.

“We know it might seem that in many areas things have returned to normal, but every single one of us has to realise that there is serious, unseen damage to our wastewater and water networks under our roads and streets and this is going to take time to repair.  

“Limit shower times, only use your washing machine when you have a full load, and only use your dishwasher when it’s full, or better still handwash your dishes. And I’m afraid washing cars and watering the garden are out, no matter where you live.

“If you are in the chemical toilet distribution area and have a chemical toilet, you must use it. If you don’t know how to, or have not got one, please call 03 941 8999.

“For the elderly or those with young children, and those who are ill, please put your health and safety needs first. Everyone with vulnerable people near them should continue to make sure they are okay. Civil Defence is currently working on a plan to help these people. If there is a portable toilet on a street nearby, please consider using it when you can, to help ease pressure on the overall network.

“And for the rest of the city with a working toilet please use it sparingly – if it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.

“Yesterday’s sewer collapse in Ferry Road is not the first setback we will have. Even if your area has escaped significant damage, every little bit you do to help reduce water use and wastewater will help the whole city.”

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