HOUSTON - The citywide boil water advisory in Houston threw a wrench into the operations of a lot of businesses Friday.
The Medical Center was one area with a lot of disruptions. MD Anderson, for example, postponed all non-emergency patient care activities. Memorial Herman and Texas Children’s were discouraging visitors Friday.
At restaurants and coffee shops, some customers questioned whether it was safe to dine.
“Do you go away from things like sushi?” asked James Hury while deciding lunch plans. “So we thought about it pretty hard.”
He says his lunch group decided to “just risk it” in the end. They dined at Common Bond in Medical Center Plaza, a cafe that opted to stay open as usual during Houston’s boil water advisory—and had a packed house as a result.
In Greenway Plaza, Cavo Coffee Shop’s owner decided not to take any chances.
“Sorry that we’re not open, but it’s just out of our hands, and we don’t want to serve any contaminated drinks,” said Michael Kaplan, owner of Cavo Coffee.
He says his business’ water purifier began giving different readings Thursday afternoon, following the city’s major water main break in east Houston.
“We could tell something was going on with the water,” said Kaplan.
Nearby Cavo, JuiceWell stayed open.
“There are more people coming in that don’t normally come in because they’re looking for things like coffee,” said JuiceWell barista Jordan Palmer.
She says her smoothie shop opted to boil all water, making work more difficult.
“We’ve been using sink water and having to boil it, and it’s just like this little pot of boiling water, so it’s kind of going really slow at the moment,” said Palmer.
We spoke with some restaurant owners, they tell us they are taking the advisory seriously. Kong Yu, the General Manager of Blue Onyx Bistro on Richmond Avenue, told us the health department came to visit them yesterday.
“They come in and they checked it out. Made sure our restaurant, our filter system, softener system, everything goes well, and also make sure the customer can get very good quality drinking water.“
Blue Onyx Bistro isn’t the only Houston restaurant that the health department paid a visit to.
“We got a small army of folks that have been going out and today they have visited over 400 restaurants to make sure that they are following the guidance that we have provided to restaurants so that they can operate and yet still adhere to the requirements of the boil water recommendations," Dr. David Persse, Medical Director of the Houston Fire Department said in a press conference.
Because Blue Onyx has its own filtration system we’re told the water and ice are safe but are accommodating if customers are worried.
“Also we are selling bottled water for customers. So far we have no problem at all," says Yu.
Other businesses did not opt to follow the city’s advice. A pizza shop manager in Medical Center Plaza told FOX 26 his business was not boiling water Friday.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the city was testing water Friday and will have an update Saturday morning on its purity. In the meantime, it is recommended you boil drinking water even if you have a water filter. Most household water filters don’t filter out bacteria.