Monday, May 20

Local eateries take precaution


It’s still business as usual in Westwood despite measures
issued Wednesday to handle a compromise in West Los Angeles’
water supply.

A 36-inch pipe, located north of campus near Lower Stone Canyon
Reservoir broke around 1 p.m. on Wednesday and caused 25,000 people
in West Los Angeles to lose water pressure.

Workers restored water pressure by 5 p.m., but the Los Angeles
Department of Water and Power issued a precautionary measure
calling for residents to boil tap water for at least one minute as
a precautionary measure before using it for cooking or
drinking.

“Right now, the water is in our lab,” said Gale
Harris, a spokeswoman for the LADWP. “If (the results) show
no contaminants, we will lift the boil water notice in the
morning.” Harris added that if contaminants are found, the
precautionary measure will still be in place until further
notice.

Some restaurants in Westwood were still open, adhering to the
notice issued by the LADWP, but others, like both Coffee Bean
locations, were closed for the day.

John Kim, the owner of Boba Loca, heard of the notice on
Wednesday and did not use any of the ice made in the
business’s ice machine, though the ice machine uses a filter.
Instead, he bought 10 bags of ice from Whole Foods.

Islenia Valle, the front end supervisor at Whole Foods, did not
notice an increase in ice sales, though the market has been
affected in other ways.

The produce misters, which help keep produce moist, are not
being used and employees have to resort to using hand pumps using
bottled water sold in the store, said Javier Santana, an employee
in the produce department.

“It’s more time consuming,” Santana said.
“We’re using up our own merchandise instead of selling
it … but it beats using the other water.”

Soft drink dispensers also filter tap water for use in
carbonated beverages. Allen To, the manager at Mongol King, has
also bought ice and is selling soft drinks and water in cans and
bottles, but is using boiled water to prepare food.

“I don’t want to take a risk, so I don’t use
it (in the soft drink and the ice dispensers),” To said.

Many restaurant owners who were still open Thursday did not
notice any significant decrease in the number of customers, who did
not seem to be overly dismayed at the precautionary measure.

In fact, D’Amore’s Famous Pizza Connection, actually
noticed an increase in number of customers during lunch Thursday.
Customers said they ate there because the restaurant uses bottled
water in its pizza dough, said Bryan Wong, an employee at
D’Amore’s.

“I trust (restaurants) are doing the right thing,”
said Emilie Paczkowski, a psychology graduate student who was
drinking a beverage at Starbucks.

Tobey Humphries, Paczkowski’s friend, expressed dismay
because some businesses were closed while others were still
open.

If restaurants are following county protocol and are not using
untreated tap water for food and drinks, then that water should be
safe, said Stefan Cajina, associate sanitary engineer with the
California Department of Health Services.

Wong said an official from the Los Angeles County Health
Department came and instructed Wong and the cooks working at
D’Amore’s to boil water for at least one minute before
use.

Updates can be found on the Los Angeles Department of Water
and Power Web site at www.ladwp.com.

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