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Services in Christchurch

Sandbags and flooding advice


If sandbags are an appropriate form of protection for a property, the council will supply empty sandbags for residents to fill with sand obtained from a builders merchant. The sandbags should be kept dry and separate from the sand until needed and kept out of sunlight during long term storage otherwise the bags will decay.

Sandbags can be collected from the following places in Christchurch:

View the sandbag provision leaflet.

Unused sandbags

If you have space, store them in case you need them again. Alternatively, empty the sand (dig it into the garden, if you have one) and put the empty sack in the household rubbish bin, or take it to a recycling centre.

Used sandbags

Handle the bags with care using gloves and take them to a recycling centre. Bags filled with sand can be placed in the rubble skip. Gel bags should be put in the landfill skip.

Do not put contaminated sand or bags in your household waste collection.

Flooding advice

The council may be able to help when a flooding problem is caused by an obstruction in a watercourse. The council has powers to require landowners to clear obstructed watercourses, however, these powers are limited and do not extend to requiring general improvements.

No funding is available from the council for carrying out improvements on private land.


If the council receives a request for emergency assistance we aim to deliver filled sandbags to residents who need them to protect their property. Residents will be encouraged to collect sandbags themselves, especially during more severe weather events when the council's resources become stretched.

We will prioritise requests for assistance.

The service is not a statutory function of the council and will be provided within the limitations of available resources. There may be occasions when there will be no emergency sandbag delivery service.

The service is free of charge and does not extend to clearing up after flooding and recovering sandbags after the event. 

For emergencies, outside of normal office hours please contact us:

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