Around half of Palmer Street in Warkworth is without water after contractors struck a water pipe while planting trees this morning.
The plastic pipe, which was about half a metre below ground level and 10 centimetres in diameter, was split by a spade.
The incident occurred around 8.40am. Watercare was contacted immediately and turned off the water around 9.20am.
The break caused a spectacular water spout that was about five metres high.
Palmer Street resident Piers Barney says planting between the pavement and housing was always going to be a potential problem.
“We only had underground services put in recently and it’s the obvious place for pipelines to be placed, so it was crazy to be digging there in the first place,” Piers says.
“Even if you don’t hit a pipe, the roots are going to bind around it and cause problems. Ratepayers shouldn't have to pay for this.”
Watercare advises that water has been restored and the broken pipe fixed.
A spokesperson says the location of Watercare’s water mains are available online.
“Contractors can always call our asset protection teams to seek advice,” he says. “The site beforeUdig should also be used before any excavation. This is a referral service, which provides information on underground infrastructure such as underground power cables or pipes”