A resident on a suburban street on Auckland's North Shore had an unpleasant wake up call in the wee hours of this morning after waste from a burst sewage pipe flowed into his home.
Four homes have been evacuated on Milford's Alma Rd after the sewage pipe on Shakespeare Rd burst around 2.40am and spilled waste through local properties.
Beachgoers are also being warned to stay away from Milford Beach. Swimsafe issued a long-term no-swimming warning near the Wairau Creek outlet this morning due to its "high risk".
Alma St resident Zafer Isiklar said he was woken up around 3 this morning.
"I saw the policeman in our garden and then he was knocking at the door and he was saying that our house was covered in water and s**t from the sewerage.
"He just warned us saying to stay inside the house."
When Isiklar wandered outside to see what was going on he saw a barrage of police cars and fire trucks.
Emergency service staffers asked him if he needed any help to shift anything from the house, but at this point he said he wasn't aware of how serious the damage was.
"And then they left, and I was by myself," he said.
Soon realising how severe the damage was, Isiklar said he contacted both Auckland Council and Watercare. It was several hours before anyone turned up to take action, he said.
A Fire and Emergency NZ spokeswoman said they were called to the scene on Shakespeare Rd at 2.40am on Sunday after receiving reports of a water leak.
Upon arrival, the water leak was found to be a burst sewage pipe and the Auckland Council was notified.
Watercare's chief operations manager Mark Bourne said crews and contractors remained on site.
They had closed the wastewater pump station to stop the flow of wastewater and were working to minimise the environmental impact.
"Their first priority is the health, safety and well-being of those residents that were affected," Bourne said.
"The next step will be sorting out temporary repairs."
Newstalk ZB reporter Sam Thompson was at the scene, where he said the smell was "the first thing that hits you".
"Apart from the workers, there's nobody else hanging around," he said. "With the smell, I don't blame them."
A digger is being used to get to the burst sewage pipe.
Isiklar said he had sent his family to a local cafe and told them to stay there and have breakfast while he tried to find out more.
"It is definitely inconvenient - my house and garden is completely contaminated," he said.
"They said they have to clean everything up - and they can't do anything for my garden."
"It has gone all through my house. Clean up people are on the way… all these other houses are contaminated too, we don't know what to do."
In a statement issued this afternoon Watercare said the affected underground pipe had been located and repairs were under way.
Three homes were directly affected by the spill, while residents from other properties would be able to return home later this afternoon.