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Health advice following fire at Bromley wastewater treatment plant

Tuesday 2 November 2021Media release2 minutes to read

THIS IS AN ARCHIVED PAGE. The advice and information contained in this page may not be current and it should only be used for historical reference purposes.
Health warning  – algal bloom in Lake Pegasus

Health advice following the Bromley wastewater treatment plant fire

Canterbury DHB’s Community and Public Health Unit is providing the Canterbury community with some practical advice following the fire at the wastewater treatment plant in Bromley, Christchurch.

Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Cheryl Brunton says while there is no longer a significant amount of smoke in the air around this location, the strong smell created by the fire may persist for some time.

“Anyone experiencing any persistent health issues from the fire should contact their general practice team for advice, in the first instance,” says Dr Brunton.

Community and Public Health’s other advice is as follows:

Food safety

  • Wash home-grown fruits and vegetables before consumption.


  • If soot from the fire reached your home, you may wish to hose down your roof, outside walls, decks, paths, and driveway
  • Any large pieces of debris can be picked up using gloves. Please ensure the debris is cool and if in doubt soak in water before disposing of it in your red bin.

Internal surfaces

  • Any visible soot or dust (for example, on windowsills) can be wiped down using a damp cloth. For hard surfaces, use a mop with a mild soap or detergent.
  • Soft furnishing can be cleaned using a vacuum cleaner (preferably with a HEPA filter).


  • If you had clothes on the washing line which have been exposed to smoke and soot, put them through a rinse cycle and then wash again as usual.  Wash any other items that smell of smoke or soot.


  • Wash your pet and pet bedding if they were exposed to smoke and soot.



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Page last updated: 22 November 2021

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