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Water-boil advisory impacting local businesses and their bottom line

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - For the next two days, Watkins Glen residents and businesses will need to boil their tap water. For some businesses like the local Dunkin Donuts, it's not that easy.

"We can no longer serve our cold beverages, which is a big part of our menu," Rahul Prajapati, the assistant manager at the Dunking Donuts, said. "So we had to turn down a lot of guests in morning and right now, a lot of unhappy customers."

He said this is not something that rarely happens.

"I think this is the second one in the last three or four months," Prajapati said. "This does happen quite often around here."

A Village Department of Public Works employee says a contractor was digging into the ground just down the road, hitting the water main by accident. 

"It's standard practice with any water-main break, it's a precautionary measure," Tim O'Hearn, the Schuyler County Administrator, said. "The State Health Department requires any municipality to conduct water sampling to ensure there were no contaminants introduced into the system."

Like many communities, Watkins Glen is also enduring an aging water system. Simply fixing it isn't a miracle solution.

"Simply replacing all of your infrastructure doesn't eliminate the problem 100 percent either," O'Hearn said. "It's something that in the Northeast we just need to be prepared to deal with."

As for the Dunkin Donuts customers, it's also something they have to deal with when the store can't make any iced coffee.

"They understand there's nothing we can do so they either have to get a hot coffee or something else," Prajapati said.

Watkins Glen is a tourist hotspot and O'Hearn said he's confident that the water infrastructure can still hold. He used NASCAR as an example that draws thousands of people annually.


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