The old pipe couldn't take the pressure anymore and blew just before 5 a.m.
For 76 years, it had ferried water from the city's main trunk line up Locke Street to fill the Beaumont Reservoir, which in turn quenches west Hamilton's thirst.
But yesterday, after days of bitter cold, frost worked its way under the 30-inch cast iron pipe, right where one section connects the next under the intersection of Herkimer and Locke streets.
The frost pushed the ground up until the big feeder pipe shattered like a poorly fired clay vase, blowing out a one-metre-square piece of metal.
It released a geyser of water so powerful it blasted straight up through concrete roadbed and asphalt and spewed three metres into the air.
Within minutes, it sped down streets into more than 100 homes and businesses, completely flooding some basements and reducing water pressure across large parts of west Hamilton. Source.