Some Thunder Bay businesses are struggling to comply with a city order to reduce waste water in light of this week's flooding at the city's sewage plant.

The plant is still not operating at full capacity.

 The water restrictions have proven to be a challenge at Dusty's Car Care on May Street.

Owner Gary Trewin, said he's following the city's request for conservation during the current emergency, even though dirt is still being hosed off vehicles.

"We've got half the car wash shut down and just not cleaning up at night, Trewin said. "We're not washing the floors, not using the washroom as much as we have to.  Basically, other than shutting down, we're doing as much as we can."


Car wash owner Gary Trewin says he's following the city's request for water conservation during the current state of emergency, following Monday's flooding. (Matt Prokopchuk/CBC)

Some Thunder Bay restaurants are also doing what they can.

The Keg and Caribou restaurants are only serving water to customers on request and kitchen staff is only rinsing the food they know is going to be served.

But it's still not clear whether the conservation efforts will be enough as the city works to re-establish its water and sewage treatment facilities.

Time will tell, said Darrell Matson, the city's general manager of infrastructure.

"A 24-hour trend doesn't mean much," Matson said. "So we'll monitor over the next two [or] three days to see whether or not there's a significant decrease in the amount of potable water produced."

Carwash owner Trewin said he’s stopped short of closing down his water-intensive business while the city is under a state of emergency.

"We have to pay our bills [and] still have to open," Trewin said. "I don't want to leave all my guys sitting at home — they gotta eat too.  These guys don't want to get laid off."