Health Department Helps Restaurants Conserve Water

- As the worst drought in Wichita Falls' history continues, businesses are having to find new ways to make every drop count.

One industry trying to cut water use back is restaurants.

New restaurant "Pho Cafe" met with the health department before opening to learn how they can do their part to conserve water...It's a partnership the health department says benefits everyone in this drought.

Pho Cafe is enjoying their grand opening this week and even though the owners have other restaurants, opening this one came with some new guidelines, as the Wichita County-Wichita Falls Health Department gave them tips on how to conserve Texoma's most valuable resource.

“They've guided us the best way to serve people in the best way to save the water,” Lynn Johnson, co-owner of Pho Cafe.

That means making customers aware of some the changes.

“We only serve the water if the customer requests,” says Johnson.

That information is listed on displays that sit on the restaurant's tables, part of the health department's effort to make customers more water conscious.

“When an inspector goes out to do their inspection, they take water conservation information out to them, we've also developed the signs on the tables that say that we are in a drought,” says Lou Kreidler, Director of Health.

The health department also suggests, using less dishes, using alternative thawing methods and watching how much water they use to clean.

Johnson says Pho Cafe employees have found innovative ways to make every drop count.

Ice machine, we can use that recycled water, we can use that for mopping the floor.

Kreidler says restaurants have been eager to adjust their water usages because they know if lakes continue to drop restrictions on restaurants could be inevitable.

The health department also does monthly water audits and visits the restaurants that use the most to see if there are ways they can help them cut back.

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