Austin City Council Orders Postmortem On Water-Boil Mandate

Nov 15, 2018

Austinites may soon be getting more information on why they had to boil their tap water last month.

The Austin City Council on Thursday ordered the City Manager’s Office to provide a report by Dec. 11 on the water-boil and conservation mandates.

District 8 Council Member Ellen Troxclair presented the resolution. She said she wants to know whether there are technologies that could have filtered the silty floodwater that so vexed Austin’s treatment plants, and how long Austin Water knew water supplies were dwindling before it issued the boil mandate on Oct. 22.

“I don’t understand why we weren’t asked to conserve water on Thursday or Friday,” she said. “And if we had been asked to reduce our consumption by 20 percent, would that have prevented us from being under the boil water notice?”

Local news organizations, including KUT, have also asked for public documents relating to the boil-water order. Initially the city’s water utility resisted releasing of those records, although it now appears most will be made available.