Restaurants, laundromats and car wash services shut their doors Wednesday in advance of the water shortage, while other businesses planned to hold out until their taps dried up.
David Morauer, the owner of Roy’s Car Wash off of Allentown Way, said they decided to suspend services until repairs are complete.
“We’re just going to stay closed until it’s okay,” Morauer said.
Around this time on a typical day, Morauer said a couple hundred cars come through and are cleaned with 15-20 gallons of water each.
“It’s a huge loss for us,” Morauer said.
Morauer was especially concerned for elderly clients who may not know about the water shortage.
“My main thought is for elderly folks who are home and don’t know,” Morauer said. “I would worry about folks like that, and our employees, but it is what it is.”
Morauer purchased bottles water for his employees who will be working at the car wash, which doubles as a BP gas station.
Although water will be available from a diverted pipeline, Morauer said that keeping the car wash closed is best for the community’s safety.
“Any conservation will just help someone else out there who doesn’t have water,” Morauer said.
The MEGA Hair Unisex Salon in Camp Springs was completely empty Wednesday afternoon except for three stylists. If a water shortage weren’t looming over the salon, eight to 10 clients could be waiting for appointments or getting new hair-do’s.
Stylist Jacquawn Cummings, 33, of Temple Hills, said that the salon still had water pressure around lunchtime and would stay open until they ran out of water. Stylists also filled four buckets of water for cleaning and plumbing in the salon.
“We can’t doing nothing about it, so we’ll make the best of it,” Cummings said.
If the salon runs out of water, stylists can still give haircuts and use dry shampoo to clean thin hair.
“Dry shampoo is an option for me when push comes to shove,” Cummings said.
The Padgetts Corner Giant grocery store on Allentown Road was open and advertised their available water and ice on neon signs.
Several packages of bottled water were available today, but store manager Jerome DeBrew said they were flying off the shelves Tuesday.
The grocery store sold 37 pallets of bottled water, DeBrew said. Each pallet can hold 72 24-packs of water. That means close to 64,000 bottles of water were sold yesterday at the Padgetts Corner Giant alone.
“We put it out front of them and let them buy as much as they needed,” DeBrew said.
Next door at the S/W Liquor store, assistant manager Tracy Duszynski said the store was “bum-rushed” with requests for water Tuesday. The store ordered 80 cases of bottled water twice during the day.
Duszynski said one of the employees got a new job title that day: waterboy.
“His nickname was waterboy yesterday because he kept wheeling it out one after another,” Duszynski said.
S/W Liquor charged $8.99 for a 32-pack of bottled water and $10.99 for a 24-pack, making the product more expensive that Giant’s.
“We only buy it by the pallet,” Duszynski said. “We don’t get a deal like Giant because we aren’t ordering by the truckload.”Other businesses that were closed included the Oxon Hill and Hillcrest Heights public libraries. They will reopen July 19 or when repairs are complete.