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E. coli shuts down several Oxford businesses; owners react

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OXFORD --  There is concern in Oxford as a popular restaurant, bar, hair salon and childcare center are among the businesses impacted by E. coli bacteria found in a retail plaza's water supply.

Quarterly water testing of the two wells that serve the Pleasant Valley Professional Plaza revealed the E. coli Tuesday afternoon. And it could be as a result of ongoing construction.

The owner of the plaza was not willing to discuss the discovery in two in the water supply that feeds roughly one dozen businesses.

"How did it get in the water well? Don't know. I have a good idea," said Agim Mamudov, who owns Rose's Family Restaurant. "But, it's not my place to point fingers."

For a month, the plaza has been under construction to connect it to the town's sewer system.

"They called us and we shut down immediately," said Izet Mamudov, who owns Rose's with his brother. "And, we threw out everything in the garbage."

With their business typically slowing down in January, the timing of this shut down really hurts the restaurant.

"I don't think it's going to be the same anymore," said Izet Mamudov. "After this, the regular customers they really feel bad for us, but other people they're going to hear something like that. It hurts everything and it's not our fault."

Two doors down is the Nu-Look Hair Salon, owned by Laura Miller and Michelle Savoy for 24 years. With no water, that means haircuts only.

"We can't do any perms, coloring, wash and sets," said Miller. "We tell the customers if they want to wash their hair at home and come in, then we can take care of them."

Businesses are being told it could be a week or 10 days before they are back up to speed.

"I've been assured by the state and by Pomperaug health that this shopping center will not be reopened until it's absolutely safe," said First Selectman George Temple (R-Oxford).

Temple says Friday is pizza night at Rose's for his family. And the owners of Rose's say this week they are going to lose out on a typical Friday night, which features up to 500 pizzas sold.

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