A problem with the filtration system at the Dos Palos water treatment plant left city residents with a limited water supply for a second day on Sunday.
Residents were instructed to boil any water that came out of the tap or to drink bottled water. Restaurants were told not to wash dishes and only to sell food that didn't need water to prepare.
"It's really bad," said Annie Heng, manager of Dos Palos Donuts, which sells donuts and sandwiches. "The health department came and said we should probably shut down and we're not allowed to prepare food."
Later on Sunday, Heng said the business trucked in some well water that was not affected, which allowed the shop to resume some food prep.
The water treatment plant developed a problem on Saturday night and underwent repairs starting around 7 p.m., said police Chief Barry Mann. The water tanks were refilled overnight and service was restored by 4 a.m. Sunday, Mann said.
But by late Sunday morning the tanks had run low again.
The filter wasn't working fast enough to keep up with demand, Mann said.
Residents were notified of the situation -- which is expected to continue for several days -- through the emergency notification center. The Merced County city has about 5,000 residents.
The Dos Palos city council chambers were opened Sunday as a cooling and hydration center, where bottled water was distributed.
Mikalinos Pizza & Pasta bought 20 cases of water on Saturday night to prepare the restaurant to open on Sunday, said the manager, who would identify himself only as Ernie S.
"We've got very little running water," he said. "We can't get our fountain drinks. No pastas. Everything is a take-out menu."
The restaurant, which has operated in Dos Palos for seven years, is a sit-down restaurant. But no running water in the bathrooms meant it could only operate as a take-out place on Sunday.
But the day wasn't a complete loss for the business.
"It's been great because people can't cook at home," he said. "It seems to be helping our business other than not being able do pastas."
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