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Energy & Environment

Austin lifts water conservation requirements, but boil-water notice continues

An Austin Water employee prepares to fill bottles with drinking water at a water distribution site on Sunday in response to a citywide boil-water notice.
Gabriel C. Pérez
/
KUT
An Austin Water employee prepares to fill bottles with drinking water at a water distribution site on Sunday in response to a citywide boil-water notice.

The City of Austin is still asking residents to boil water before consuming it, but has lifted calls to conserve water.

The boil-water notice was issued Saturday. Austin Water said human error led to issues at the Ullrich Water Treatment Plant, the city’s largest treatment facility. As the city worked to get the plant fully operational again, it was urging businesses and residents to reduce water use as much as possible.

Austin Water said Monday night that the plant was back up and producing normal amounts of water, so the emergency conservation restrictions could be lifted. The boil-water notice will likely continue into Tuesday night as water samples are tested for safety.

“We remain cautiously optimistic that, if the water samples pass regulatory requirements and the [Texas Commission on Environmental Quality] approves our results, we will be able to lift the water boil notice late Tuesday evening,” Austin Water Director Greg Meszaros said in a press release.

Under the boil-water notice, residents are asked to boil tap water for two minutes before drinking it or using it to cook, to ensure any potential bacteria or microbes are destroyed.

Residents can also pick up safe drinking water from the following city-run distribution sites:

  • Austin Water Glen Bell Service Center, 3907 S. Industrial Drive — Open 24 hours (customers must bring an empty water container)
  • Austin Water North Service Center, 901 W. Koenig Lane — Open 24 hours (customers must bring an empty water container)
  • Austin Community College Pinnacle Campus, 7748 US 290 — Noon to 8 p.m.
  • 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.

The city says homebound residents or those with limited mobility should call 311 for water. Visit this interactive map to see if your home is included in the boil-water notice.

Some Austin City Council members are calling for an external audit of Austin Water. Mayor Pro Tem Alison Alter said on Monday that she wants a third-party to look into what happened at the city’s treatment plant that compromised residents’ water quality.

At least three other City Council members have said they support hiring an outside party to audit the public utility. Council members will likely vote on this at their next meeting on Feb. 17. Alter said she doesn’t yet know what this will cost.

KUT's Audrey McGlinchy contributed to this story.

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