Restaurants and other places that serve food were also being told they should boil any water before drinking or being used to prepare food.
The New York State Health Department instructed food service providers that they "are responsible to protect their customers, employees and the public from potentially contaminated drinking water. If a boil water notification is issued for drinking water, people in the establishment may be exposed to disease causing organisms in the water. If potential exposures cannot be controlled, the facility must be closed until the drinking water is determined to be safe for consumption."
- Do NOT allow customers or staff to drink tap water that has not been boiled.
- Do NOT give customers or staff any food, ice or beverages made with tap water unless the water is boiled as part of the cooking process, such as cooking pasta or soup.
- Do NOT use tap water for washing and preparing food that will not be cooked unless the water has been boiled.
At the Red Lobster restaurant on Maple Road and Bailey Avenue, restaurant workers unloaded 30 cases of bottled water from an SUV. The water will be served to customers, while dishes will be washed with boiling water.
Aro Bar de Tapas on Sheridan Drive in Williamsville tweeted that it would be closed Thursday night because of the water situation but would reopen Friday.
Due to last night's water main break in Amherst, Aro will be closed this evening so we can prepare to serve you tomorrow. Our apologies!
— Aro Bar de Tapas (@AroTapas) July 21, 2016
But it was business as usual at several Amherst area eateries, including a Tim Hortons on Maple Road, a Cornerstone Bakery and Moe’s.
Representatives of these businesses said their water is filtered, so they have no fears about potential illnesses caused by harmful microbes. Also, their dish-washing sanitation systems reach a temperature of at least 180 degrees, so they’re not concerned about arranging extra sanitation precautions either.
Erie County officials said that the county can't force businesses to follow the boil water advisory.
"That is a decision that has to be made by each individual restaurant. All we can do is provide those guidelines/suggestions," a county spokesman said.