Several Wellington CBD businesses without water

1:07 pm on 13 March 2020

Several business in Wellington's CBD are without water as contractors deal with a burst water main.

The water main near the TSB Arena burst at 4.30am leaving multi-storey buildings without running water.

Workers at the site of the burst water main on Jervois Quay, Wellington. Photo: RNZ / Rachel Thomas

Wellington Water said the pipe, which is near the TSB Arena, burst at 4.30am.

Water has been shut down to four multi-level buildings along Jervois Quay and affected people have been asked to use toilets in businesses across the road.

The TSB Arena, Charley Noble restaurant and multiple offices are affected by the water shutdown - which is expected to last all day as contractors work to patch up the pipe.

Site manager Sean de Roo said contractors came across the burst main this morning when they were in the CBD doing other work.

He said the burst pushed silt and debris up through the road and onto the footpath.

"We had to clean up the road first, so the team is breaking into the road now to get to the water main. This street is quite thick so it takes a bit to break through that."

The contractors had dug a hole about 3m across, and were still working to reach the pipe by late morning.

The pipe was thought to be up to 1.5m underground, de Roo said.

Workers at the site of the burst water main near the TSB Arena, Wellington.

Workers at the site of the burst water main near the TSB Arena, Wellington. Photo: RNZ / Rachel Thomas

Wellington Water spokesperson Aaron Alexander said water should be restored to the buildings by 5pm.

Bottled water is on site for the affected businesses and a water tanker was on site.

The burst has resulted in dislodged silt covering the footpath.

Contractors have been working to connect a major new wastewater pipe through Willis Street, after the original tunnel - which serves the entire central city - collapsed in December.

The failure sent millions of litres of raw sewage spewing into the harbour over several days, until contractors opened up an old 1890s pipe under the city.

An over ground pipe has since been carrying the sewage, and by the end of March, contractors hope to have a new, underground pipe connected.

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