A "fountain of sewage" erupted in Selwyn today, after a valve on a pipe near Christchurch malfunctioned.

One local, Joan, told the Herald she could see sewage flying "10 feet in the air" on Selwyn Road and she could see toilet paper hanging on the trees above.

She said the area "absolutely stank".

When the Herald visited just before 2pm wastewater was still soaring into the air and pooling along the road and an adjacent paddock.

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One of the lanes on Selwyn road had been cordoned off.

A Selwyn District Council spokesperson said shortly before 10am today an air valve on a pipe near Selwyn Rd malfunctioned in a grassed area of road reserve.

"This led to an initial very brief release of the contents of the pipe under pressure and then to the pipe leaking for a short time afterwards."

They could not say how high it initially erupted but did confirm it was a "high pressure pipe".

"The repairs were completed at 2pm and a team is on site ensuring the areas has been cleaned and decontaminated."