Repairing your wastewater lateral

CCTV footage of groundwater infiltration getting through cracked pipes

CCTV footage of groundwater infiltration getting through cracked pipes.

Private lateral gravity sewer pipes (the pipe from household gully trap to the boundary of the property) throughout Christchurch need to be inspected for any damage, following the 2010 – 2011 earthquakes.

Any gravity sewers that are damaged and unrepaired, pose a potential risk to wastewater sewer services of the residents and the main sewers and wastewater treatment plant that serves the majority of residents in Christchurch.

Items such as sand, silts and excess groundwater (infiltration) can enter the system causing blockages, increased pump wear and wastewater overflows, which all may cause a break in wastewater services to residents.

Check by a registered drain layer

To mitigate any potential risk of this type of damage, the Council is asking all residents who have gravity sewer lateral systems on their property that connect to the main sewer network, to have their sewer laterals examined and checked by a registered drain layer using CCTV camera.

If they find any earthquake damage and you hold household insurance, then the cost of the CCTV examination and repair work should be covered by EQC and/or your insurance company, unless damaged found is caused by non-earthquake factors. You should then contact EQC or their insurer and provide them with the CCTV examination and repair recommendations as detailed by CCTV crew and or a registered drain layer. Having this CCTV examination will alert home owners to any damage that if left could escalate and become more costly down the line.

By identifying earthquake related damage now, all home owners with insurance cover should be able to claim the repair costs. It will also lessen the risk of loss of sewer/waste water services in the future.

In areas of the city where pressure sewer systems and vacuum sewer systems are in operation, SCIRT is carrying out these CCTV inspections as part of their work, so residents with these systems will not need to have their pipes checked.


The cost of a CCTV examination dependents o:

  • the length of the lateral pipe
  • the depth
  • the ease of access
  • the condition of the pipe and
  • whether they clean the pipe prior to the CCTV check.

You could discuss this with the CCTV contractor you choose. 

The initial CCTV examination cost will be at the expense of the property owner.

If there is earthquake damage, then this expense and all repair work may be covered by your EQC insurance claim as long as your property is insured.