A damaged water pipe frustrated New Plymouth businesses yesterday after they lost their water supplies for much of the morning.
The New Plymouth District Council had been replacing water valves overnight at the Devon and Liardet St intersection when the pipe failed.
NPDC water and waste manager Mark Hall said while carrying out the work, contractors discovered damage to an existing pipe which caused the unexpected issue.
"There were some old scrape marks on it that showed a digger had hit it in the past," he said.
"The way I understand it is that when they tried to recommission the main, it caused some problems with the joins of the pipe."
Devon St businesses between Currie and Eliot streets were without water until about 10am.
Sandwich Extreme owner Fran Bateman said having no water meant she was unable to provide her customers with their Monday morning coffee fix.
"We can't make any coffee and we can't do any dishes," she said.
It was the second time the business had lost its water supply this year, after a similar incident in January.
"I understand these things happen, but it is frustrating.
"It could be worse though, there could be no power."
Ms Bateman could see the funny side, however, writing "we will repair the water mains overnight . . . yeah right" on her outside advertising sign.
Dan's Bakery owner Daniel Jenkins said it had been a slight inconvenience, however, he had not had to turn many customers away.
"Luckily not much happens on a Monday morning," he said. "We do have a few dishes piled up though."
Mr Jenkins said they had been notified of Sunday night's work last week and appreciated it was an unexpected problem that caused the prolonged delay.
Mr Hall said the council often did such work, and one or two mishaps could be expected.
"It is unfortunate, we aim to have no problems, but when things do go wrong or the unexpected happens, unfortunately the consequences are that you have a longer delay in terms of reconnecting water supply."
Mr Hall said when taking water out of service, their aim was to keep delays to a minimum.
"Most of the time things go quite smoothly and people will be unaware that anything's happened," he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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