Downtown restaurants learning to cope with boil order | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Downtown restaurants learning to cope with boil order

Bill Hutchinson relaxes with a cup of coffee at one of Penticton's downtown coffee shops. Beverage purveyors are adapting to a boil water advisory in the downtown section following a water main break on Feb.1.
February 04, 2015 - 7:24 PM

PENTICTON - As day four of a boil water advisory continues for portions of Penticton, affected downtown businesses are slowly returning to a normal routine.

“We have been having daily conversations with the business community,” City of Penticton communications officer Simone Blais said. “The boil advisory is still on, Interior Health continues to sample, and initial results are good, but sampling needs to be continuous over a period of time.”

Blais said the city recognized the boil water edict presented challenges to some downtown businesses, but noted many restaurants and coffee shops have been able to stay open by offering alternate menus.

“There is still water. It’s just not potable,” she said.

Blendz Coffee Shop, located at the corner of Main Street and Nanaimo Avenue, reopened Tuesday afternoon after being shut down since Sunday.

“We can’t sell drip coffee, but we were able to hook up our espresso machine to bottled water,” said Blendz's manager, who did not wish to be named.

A few doors down at Capital Restaurant, owner Georgia Peterson said since the advisory it has been “very very difficult” to provide potable water for coffee. Water is boiled in the kitchen and shuttled to coffee makers in the serving area.

“It’s inconvenient, but what are you going to do? It’s a health issue,” she said. Peterson was hopeful the boil order would be lifted by Friday.

Further down the street, at Smartshopper Discount, Owner Leigh Follestad said it took a couple of days to find out his coffee machines boiled water for longer than the period required by Interior Health. He was able to resume selling hot drinks on Wednesday, Feb. 4 as well.

At Starbucks, at the corner of Westminster Avenue and Main Street,  Starbucks Public Affairs spokesperson Luisa Girotto said the company was working with Interior Health to make a decision as to what they could serve. She said the coffee shop was serving brewed coffee, but not espresso or iced beverages.

The boil water advisory was issued after an 18 inch diameter water line broke at the intersection of Wade Avenue and Main Street on the morning of Sunday, Feb. 1.

“The cause of the broken line is unknown. It was an older pipe - we believe it was installed in 1932, which would make it 83 years old.” Blais said the typical lifespan for cast iron pipe like the one that failed Sunday is 120 years.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2015

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