We ran into a customer from 5 years ago in Worcester the other day with a new situation. There was water leaking in around the water pipe leading into the house. The pipe was an old cast iron pipe that looked like it has spider webs around it. Upon a closer look, we found that it was roots. We went outside, and right above where the pipe entered the home was a huge bush. We assumed this was the plant roots that were wrapped around the pipe.
We went back inside and smelled the water, which had a chlorine odor, so we assumed it was town water. We didn't touch it, because we needed to call the City of Worcester to be sure that it was their town water pipe.
We called them and the town arrived within 10 minutes. However, in the meantime, the customer decided to rip out the bush. Unfortunately, the pipe was full of water not oil. The water came gushing in because he had disturbed the old pipe.
The Worcester water department arrived and shut off the water to the house so it was no longer gushing water. The homeowner had to hire his own contractor to dig into the street, through his yard and install a new water pipe at his own cost. If you ever see roots around a pipe, don't touch it!