FAIRFIELD - Officials say a water main broke on Barlow Road near North Benson Road around 10:45 Tuesday morning leaving homes without water.

State contractors cutting into the ground to lay wiring for traffic signals accidentally cut the 24-inch water main.

Aquarion Water Company reported Tuesday evening that at least 168 properties were without running water, including several homes, stores and dorms at Fairfield University. The water that some residents and stores did have had low pressure and was discolored.

Aquarion is warning everyone in the area to refrain from drinking or using the water until the problem is fixed.

The water flow was so strong after the break that officials were worried the road would collapse. Aquarion had hoped to have the problem fixed Tuesday night, but an initial fix did not hold. They now hope to have everything back to normal before Wednesday morning.

?I'm really more concerned about the damages that are more far reaching than not having water for a few hours,? Cheryl Simcox, of Fairfield, says.

Fairfield University is keeping its recreation hall open Tuesday night for students who need to take a shower before the problem is fixed.