Workers are digging around a sewer pipe that burst in Wellington's central business area to try work out why it failed.
The pipe under Victoria Street burst yesterday evening and a small amount of human effluent spilled onto a footpath and flowed into the harbour.
It is the latest in a string of pipe failures in the city over recent months which have cost ten of millions of dollars to fix.
A Wellington Water spokesperson said the provider hoped to know more about what caused the problem by midday, to have it fixed today, and to get the road resealed over the weekend.
In the meantime, people should avoid the area.
Wellington councillor Fleur Fitzsimons said the latest burst sewer pipe was "deeply frustrating".
"If its not one thing, it's another, with our water infrastructure," Fitzsimons said.
"It's a major concern to local businesses and residents ... we're seeing constant failures."
A mayoral taskforce set up to investigate the issue needed to quickly work out what was going wrong and find solutions, she said.