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City of Austin expects to lift boil-water notice by Tuesday night

 Austin Water crews give out bottled water at the Koenig Lane distribution center on Sunday.
Gabriel C. Perez
Austin Water crews give out bottled water at the Koenig Lane distribution center on Sunday.

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The City of Austin said the current boil-water notice was caused by human error at the city's largest water treatment plant, and officials expect the situation to be cleared up by Tuesday evening.

"It's becoming clear that this was errors from our operating staff at our Ullrich plant," said Austin Water Director Greg Meszaros at a press conference Sunday. "[There were] oversights in how they attended the process of treating water at Ullrich and that's certainly unacceptable to us."

City Manager Spencer Cronk thanked the city's residents for their patience during this event and made a promise: "This will be addressed and you can be assured this will not happen again."

Meszaros said that Austin Water expects the boil water notice to be lifted by Tuesday night. He explained the mistake was made when the employees that monitor the entire process of water purification were not paying close enough attention.

"We have large plants, they're essentially water factories," Meszaros said. "Sometimes factories have to stop the assembly line and correct something and in that spirit it was not properly stopped and corrected. It was allowed to be carried through to the finished water."

The boil-water notice began Saturday night when the city sent out alerts to residents asking them to boil water for two minutes before consuming. The city launched water distribution sites Sunday to hand out bottled water and let people fill up containers with safe water. Meszaros said that will continue into Monday.

While the notice is in effect, residents need to boil water for at least two minutes before using it to drink, cook, brush teeth, wash food or for pets.

Where to find water

The city has seven water distribution sites operating. Customers are asked to bring empty water containers to the Glen Bell Service Center and the North Service Center locations.

  • Austin Water Glen Bell Service Center, 3907 S. Industrial Drive — Open 24 hours
  • Austin Water North Service Center, 901 W. Koenig Lane — Open 24 Hours
  • Travis County Expo Center, 7311 Decker Lane — Noon to 8 p.m.
  • Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex, 10211 W. Parmer Lane — Noon to 8 p.m.
  • Southeast Metropolitan Park, 4511 State Hwy 7, Del Valle — Noon to 8 p.m.
  • Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park, 12138 N Lamar Blvd. — Noon to 8 p.m.
  • Travis County Tax Office-Southeast, 4011 McKinney Falls Pkwy — Noon to 8 p.m.

Visit this interactive map to see if your address is included in the boil-water notice area.

Claire McInerny is a former education reporter for KUT.
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