Pressure mounts for Wellington to get on top of water woes

Pressure is mounting for Wellington to get on top of its water woes after a second burst pipe in the capital shot water 10 metres into the air. 

The geyser-like fountain of water gushing into the sky the result of a burst drinking water main - it's magnitude sending a stream of debris down Aro St on Thursday. 

The water was turned off yesterday and crews are repairing the main today. Wellington Water still doesn't know why the water main burst and is investigating.

It wasn't able to be fixed before another burst water main left behind muddy water in Island Bay today. 

In the CBD, crews are still dealing with the aftermath of a 110-year-old sewage pipe that burst on Monday - closing streets and creating a stench

Shop owner Ian Douglas says the issue has affected stores in the area.

"Earlier this week it was disastrous. It's kept people out of the area."

Village Goldsmith Owner Ian Douglas says the reduction of foot-traffic has cost his business tens of thousands of dollars in sales.

"It's frustrating, naturally, but sadly it's a symptom of what Wellington as a whole is facing."

The latest woes prompting the city's mayor to call a meeting with Wellington Water.

"The reality is there has been underinvestment since the first pipe went into the ground in the 19th century so we need to invest more," says Wellington Mayor Andy Foster.

That involves assessing all of the water pipes and investigating an apparent cap on investment.

"Has there been a cap on the spending on the pipes?  Effectively, it seems that there has been."

Policy Director Infrastructure NZ Hamish Glenn says councils struggle to keep up with water upgrades.

"Every time we need to go and review water assets under the ground, and we can't see them,  councils go hey can we have some more money."

Wellington's mayor is confident he can solve issues under the ground that have rushed towards the surface.