What a stench!

Dirty dishes at restaurants were piled high when the water supply at the shopping mall was suddenly disrupted on Saturday night.

Sunday's food at several eateries was still uncooked at lunchtime and customers were being turned away.

Hair salons couldn't wash their customers' hair and had to frantically call them to reschedule appointments.

And with no water in the toilets, the landlord had to find other ways to help shoppers clean their hands.

A pump failure at Causeway Point, from about 7pm on Saturday, caused the water supply to the building to be abruptly cut.

Some restaurants and foodcourts had to turn away customers Sunday morning as they were not ready for business.

Restaurant employees told The New Paper the taps had stayed dry since Saturday evening.

Said Mr Alvin Chua, 26, an assistant manager of Soup Restaurant: "The water started trickling at about 7pm (on Saturday) and it stopped totally by 8pm.

"Till closing time, there was no water. We threw away the rubbish and had to cover up the unwashed plates."

A 23-year-old assistant manager at a restaurant, who gave her name as Veronica, said she didn't expect it to be so bad.

She said: "The smell was unbearable and the leftover food stuck to the plates, making it harder to wash.

"It was like closing time. We had to wash the dishes first before we could open the restaurant. All that took some time."

The water supply was restored by noon on Sunday and the restaurant finally opened its doors to customers around 12.20pm, nearly 2½ hours later than its usual weekend opening time of 10am.

Many of the 62 food and beverage outlets and two foodcourts had their opening times affected.

Said Mr Chua: "Customers started queuing up at 11am, but we had to say sorry to them. Many left.

"About 30 to 50 per cent of our day sales could be affected. Especially since business is usually good in the morning (on Sundays)."

The restaurant finally welcomed customers at 12.45pm, he said.

Customers were seen either being turned away or sitting around waiting for the restaurants to open.

A woman, who was seen with her elderly parents, was busy poring over the menu of another restaurant.

She had been turned away from Crystal Jade Kitchen earlier, which had a notice in Mandarin informing customers about what had happened.

She said: "Of course, I'm disappointed. We came all the way from Choa Chu Kang. Now we have to find something else to eat."

'How to wash hair?'

Hair salons were affected just as severely.

Ms Coco Wong, 47, a hairstylist with Jean Yip hairdressing, said: "We had to call our customers to reschedule their appointments. No water, how to wash hair?"

A spokesman for PUB, the national water agency, said the building management notified them of the water supply disruption.

She said: "The interruption was caused by a failure of the pump within Causeway Point which affected the water supply."

She also added that the building management had "activated their contractors to repair the pump".

She said PUB officers were on site to pump water to the high-level tank, and water supply was progressively restored from 10.45am and fully restored by noon.

When TNP was there on Sunday, a mobile pump from PUB was still pumping water around 3.30pm.

When contacted, a spokesman for Frasers Centrepoint Malls, which manages a group of shopping malls here, including Causeway Point, said the cause of the disruption was being investigated.

He said it had worked out an interim solution while the main problem was being rectified.

He told TNP: "Our main concern is to minimise the inconvenience to the shoppers and tenants.

"We got in water trucks from PUB to rectify the water supply problem. We also supplied mineral water bottles to the tenants and provided wet wipes in the toilets."

PUB said the trucks were mobile pumps to pump water from the mains to the higher-level tanks.

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