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Energy & Environment
Central Texas experienced historic winter weather the week of Feb. 14, with a stretch of days below freezing. Sleet followed snow followed freezing rain, leading to a breakdown of the electric grid and widespread power outages. Water reservoirs were depleted and frozen pipes burst, leaving some without service for days.

Boil-Water Notice Lifted For Most Austin Water Customers

Volunteer Jake Nobles at a water distribution event held by the City of Austin and Travis County at the ACC Pinnacle campus in Southwest Austin on Sunday.
Gabriel C. Pérez
/
KUT
Jake Nobles volunteers at a water-distribution event held by the City of Austin and Travis County at the ACC Pinnacle campus in Southwest Austin on Sunday.

The citywide boil-water notice, in place since Wednesday, has now been lifted for most Austin Water customers.

The only remaining water pressure zones that are still under the notice are in portions of Northwest and Southwest Austin. Customers in Southwest A, B and C and Northwest B and C zones should bring tap water to a vigorous boil for two minutes before using it to drink, cook or make ice.

The water utility released an interactive map where customers can zoom in and see if they live the area where tap water is now safe to consume.

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As of Monday afternoon, only portions of Northwest and Southwest Austin remain under a boil-water notice.
Austin Water
As of Monday afternoon, only portions of Northwest and Southwest Austin remain under a boil-water notice.

If you no longer have to boil your water, Austin Water says you should run all cold water faucets for one minute. If you have an automatic ice maker, you should make and discard three batches of ice. And if you have a water softener, run it through a regeneration cycle.

“We expect to have all of Austin with water service by today and boil water notice lifted city-wide shortly after,” Austin Water Director Greg Meszaros said in a statement Monday. "As we return to regular operations, we will begin the process of evaluating our systems and identifying ways to improve resiliency across all areas of the utility.”

Austin Water recommends that if your utility is an AW wholesale customer, you should contact your provider directly for updates. Those wholesale districts include:

  • Night Hawk
  • Travis County WCID 10
  • Windermere
  • Creedmoor-Maha WSC
  • Morningside
  • Rivercrest
  • San Leanna
  • Marsha WSC
  • Wells Branch MUD
  • Northtown MUD
  • Manor
  • Rollingwood
  • Sunset Valley

The city now has more than 118 million gallons in reserves, Austin Water said Monday morning, increasing the pressure for all customers and bringing the water system "into healthy territory."

The city says mandatory water restrictions are still in effect, including bans on:

  • Using water for irrigation or testing of irrigation equipment
  • Washing vehicles, including at commercial car washes
  • Washing pavement or other surfaces
  • Adding water to a pool or spa
  • Conducting foundation watering, or
  • Operating an ornamental fountain or pond, other than aeration necessary to support aquatic life.

Violations should be reported to Austin 311.

The utility issued a citywide boil-water notice last week following a loss of power at the Ullrich Water Treatment Plant, its largest water treatment facility, and leaks across the system combined with a higher-than-usual demand during the historic winter storm.

This story has been updated.

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