Cafes kept serving coffe

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Back to basics . . . Cafe Rue owner Brenda Lee holds a coffee plunger and a teapot which the cafe had to use while the boil water notice was in effect. PHOTO: JOSHUA RIDDIFORD

Cafes in Dunedin’s city centre coped well while last week’s “boil water” notice was in effect.

The Dunedin City Council issued a boil water notice for an area of Dunedin, including the central business district, late on the afternoon of Tuesday, August 15.

The council had discovered untreated water being spilled from the Ross Creek Reservoir had found its way into the drinking water network.

The notice was lifted on Friday afternoon.

On Wednesday, several cafes, including Morning Magpie in Stuart St, flushed out the water from their coffee machines and resumed normal coffee service by drawing from a large water tanker in the Octagon.

Troy Butler said the cafe served drip filter coffee for a two-hour period while the coffee machine was flushed.

He said the overall impact on his business was “not too bad”.

Bite Kitchen cafe owner Nick Gazzard also drew water from the Octagon tanker.

He said there had been fewer customers on the Wednesday morning but that changed over the course of the day.

“It was just a bit quieter that morning but then once people found out what was going on we kicked back into normal and had quite a busy day in the end, actually.”

Owner of The Perc Central (Stuart St) and Exchange (Princes St) cafes Sarah Hussey said the boil water notice was not “a life-changing experience” for her or her staff.

Both cafes flushed the water from their coffee machines before filling 25-litre containers with water from the tanker.

The story was slightly different for Cafe Rue.

Co-owner Brenda Lee said the cafe’s older coffee machine was a double boiler variety and could not easily draw from a reserve bucket.

That meant instead of serving barista coffee, the cafe switched to plunger coffee from Wednesday until Friday.

Lunchtime patronage remained robust while the notice was in effect but the patronage at morning tea dropped off, she said.

“It was pretty quiet.”

Mrs Lee said she thought the Dunedin City Council responded well to the issue of untreated water.

“It’s a mistake that shouldn’t have happened but the way they dealt with it was pretty good.”