POWAY, Calif. — The city of Poway remained under a precautionary boil water advisory on Tuesday. Starting Saturday, residents were urged to boil tap water and hundreds of restaurants were forced to shut down. The city has handed out more than 400,000 water bottles since Sunday morning.
Poway Mayor Steve Vaus has expressed frustration as the city was still awaiting the all-clear from the state to lift the ban as of Tuesday night. The city's website has provided updates to the public throughout the advisory.
Players Sports Grill in Poway is one of more than 200 eateries that had to shut down amid a boil water advisory. Owner Mike Pasulka only opened his doors Tuesday just to allow insurance people inside in an attempt to cover some of the losses.
Pasulka said there were more losses than just water and ice. Anything that won't save - like meats and cheeses, plus all items that have been handled or chopped with utensils washed with the water in question - also had to be tossed.
The advisory was put in place over the weekend after city water was off-colored. After an extensive investigation, the city of Poway believes it was caused by a storm drain that backed up into the water treatment facilities during last week's storm.
"We found that we had a faulty valve door, actually something got stuck in there and let some muddy water in from the rain runoff," Mayor Vaus said.
Despite the city testing, which deemed the water safe, Vaus said the advisory cannot be lifted until results at the state level come back all clear.
"I'm real frustrated with the state,” he said. “Just waiting for them to give it their stamp of approval."
The city made cases of free bottles water available for residents and businesses at Poway City Hall and Lake Poway this week. The city said it will continue distributing water bottles at the same locations from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Distribution information will continue to be updated here each day, according to the city.
"Rain or shine, we are going to be here until we get the green light,” said Vaus.
After getting the green light, restaurants will still have a lot of work to do including washing and sanitizing items including ice machines.
Pasulka said he's hopeful things can get back to happy hour at Players sooner than later.