Residents still living in Christchurch's red zone may have to rely on "rural levels" of infrastructure as the city council looks to decommission some services to save money.
A report from council staff has recommended that the city council keeps key infrastructure that services the city's red zone as well as neighbouring green zones, decommission infrastructure that is no longer needed and review the provision of services to residents remaining in the red zone.
The council estimated about 74 properties remained occupied by people who did not accept the Crown's buyout offer after the earthquakes.
Remaining residents are dotted around different eastern and northeastern suburbs in the red zones.
The report said retaining infrastructure to the red zone costed about $260,000 a month, and last year costed $3.1 million in total.
The report - which goes before councillors next week - said the council should consider a reduced level of services to the red zone, based on rural levels for roading, water supply and wastewater services.
It said residents may need to use on-site septic tanks or a low pressure network.
If the council approved the staged approach to reducing infrastructure in the red zone, the plan could be implemented immediately at a cost of $1.7 million.
However, it said the council should not permanently remove any horizontal infrastructure until the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) had decided what the future use of the city's red-zoned land would be.
The council also needed to negotiate with Cera to re-route some existing mains supply and pumping stations through land now owned by the Crown.
It also recommended the council ask Cera's chief executive to use his powers under the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act to temporarily restrict access to some red zoned roads.
The report would be discussed at a full council meeting on Thursday.