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Austin Has Issued A Boil-Water Notice. When Is It Still OK To Use Tap?

Miguel Gutierrez Jr.
Austin water is safe for washing hair and showering.

Austin Water issued a boil-water notice and asked residents to reduce water consumption Monday after historic flooding overwhelmed its water treatment plants.

To ensure harmful bacteria is killed before it's consumed, residents should bring water to a rolling boil for three minutes. Let the water cool after boiling and store it in clean containers with tight lids. Alternatively, people should use bottled water.

It's OK to use tap water for:

  • Showering
  • Doing laundry
  • Washing hands
  • Washing dishes (but rinse with boiled or bottled water)
  • Watering houseplants (but don't be watering outdoors!)

Boil water or use bottled water for:

  • Drinking
  • Cooking
  • Making coffee and ice
  • Washing dishes
  • Making baby formula
  • Washing fruit and vegetables
  • Hydrating pets
  • Brushing teeth

Austin Water has asked residents to reduce water use by 15 to 20 percent. All outdoor water use is banned, including irrigation, washing vehicles and filling pools. The water utility can currently treat about 105 million gallons of water per day, while customers are using about 120 million gallons. If water reservoir levels get too low, the city may run out of water.

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