A large sinkhole that has opened up in Taupō after a water main broke could take weeks to fix.
Two teenage boys raised the alarm about 5.30pm yesterday after they noticed a water leak on Arrowsmith Avenue - between Chesham Avenue and Weka Road.
Emergency services were called and found water pouring down the gully and a significant part of the road washed out.
Up to 12 engineers and council staff are on site today to assess the damage left by the hole, which the council said was 10 metres by 8 metres and up to 8 metres deep.
"We've had damage to the water main, the council water storm water, and down through the gully we've had considerable amount of pumice that has washed down through," Taupō District Council water asset manager Tom Swindells said.
A couple of houses had had pumice wash through their sections and one of the properties had some go through their garage and lower floor area, he said.
The cleanup and repair costs would be significant, he said.
The asbestos cement pipe that burst was likely old and probably needed replacing, he said.
"Within our district we do have a considerable number of asbestos water mains in the ground."
While the council plans to replace those, it could not be done overnight, he said.
The teenagers who raised the alarm acting quickly by calling emergency services and alerting neighbours, he said.
"It was an exciting but scary moment for them but they did all right things."
About 20 properties had their water supply disrupted last night but that was reinstated to all but two properties within three hours.
Repairs could take weeks and he urged the public to avoid the area.