Earthquake-weary eastern suburbs residents are seething after learning they need wastewater holding tanks and pumps installed on their properties.
Angry Parklands and Queenspark residents say the "big huge tank things'' will destroy property values and are a raw deal for people still suffering in the aftermath of the February 2011 earthquake.
And thousands more of the pressure tank systems are on the way for city suburbs where the gravity-based sewerage network has been badly damaged.
Pressure systems have been installed in Halswell and some 600 are planned for Southshore alone, with the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team rolling out the initiative progressively suburb by suburb.
Parklands residents first learnt of the proposal in a SCIRT leaflet sent out to affected property owners last week.
The leaflet invited residents to a meeting at the Queenspark Drive Baptist Church on Wednesday night.
Pinaster Place resident Chris Brydon said the leaflet in a plain unstamped envelope could have easily been mistaken for junk mail and went unnoticed by many householders.
She felt the important issue deserved wider attention and distributed about 1000 photocopies throughout the neighbourhood.
Mrs Brydon said SCIRT representatives seemed surprised when at least 200 people turned out to the meeting.
"They want to put this big huge tank thing on everybody's private property,'' she said. "This has really upset a lot of people. If everyone said 'no' they'd have to rethink.
"It seems all really sneaky. We pay our rates. "We've been through enough.''
Mrs Brydon said the pumps would be hooked up to the household power system, with a "hideous alarm system'' attached to the house.
Deb Campbell, who helped distribute the photocopied pamphlets, said the original notices delivered on Waitangi Day gave "absolutely not enough notice'' for the meeting.
Residents who attended were adamant they would not give consent for the tanks and pumps to be installed on their properties.
"We've got a very strong group of neighbours who are absolutely horrified at being told we have to have these things. We want nothing to do with them whatsoever.''
Mrs Campbell said she went to the meeting angry "and came away even angrier''.
Speakers from SCIRT, Fletcher and the city council seemed unprepared for residents' questions, she said.
"We're not troublemakers, but we thought this was an important issue for our neighbourhood and we wanted to get word out there and get as many people as possible along to the meeting.''
Burwood-Pegasus Community Board chairwoman Linda Stewart said she was surprised houses on TC2 land needed pressure systems.
"I fully understand residents' feelings about the downside of this type of system and I am requesting an urgent briefing to the community board on why and how much more of this we could expect. We need to know.''
A SCIRT spokeswoman said pressure systems were considered the best alternative and had been installed in some new subdivisions. They would be used in other suburbs where sewerage lines were damaged.
She estimated the number of systems required would be in the "low thousands''.
"The problem is the gravity system is just not working in several areas of the city,'' she said.
"The alternative for people to think about is what is the alternative?''
She said the systems cost little to run.