Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Boil Water Notice Lifted for Customers in Austin Water’s Central, South, North, and Northwest A Pressure Zones



For Immediate Release: February 22, 2021
Contact: Media Desk AWPublicInformationOffice@austintexas.gov
 
Boil Water Notice Lifted
for Customers in Austin Water's Central, South, North, and Northwest A Pressure Zones

Boil Water Notice Remains in Effect for all other Austin Water Customers
 

AUSTIN - Austin Water has partially lifted the boil water notice that has been in place since Wednesday, February 17, 2021. Customers in Austin Water's Central, South, North, and Northwest A Pressure Zones no longer need to boil water used for drinking, cooking and making ice. Water quality testing submitted to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has confirmed that tap water in the Central, South, North, and Northwest A Pressure Zones meet all regulatory standards and is safe for human consumption.

Customers can view the interactive map to find out if their address is affected by the latest lifted boil water notice.

On February 17, 2021, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) required Austin Water, Public Water System ID#TX227001, to issue a Boil Water Notice to inform customers, individuals, or employees that due to conditions which occurred recently in the public water system, the water from this public water system was required to be boiled prior to use for drinking water or human consumption purposes.

The public water system has taken the necessary corrective actions to restore the quality of the water distributed by this public water system used for drinking water or human consumption purposes and has provided TCEQ with laboratory test results that indicate that the water in Austin Water's Central, South, North, and Northwest A Pressure Zones no longer requires boiling prior to use as of February 22, 2021.

If customers have questions concerning this matter, they may visit www.austintexas.gov/page/boil-water-notice-and-faqs or follow @austinwater on social media.

Austin Water wholesale customers are conducting additional regulatory work in coordination with The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality before lifting boil water notice for their customers. Austin Water wholesale districts in this list 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
Customers of Austin Water wholesale customers listed above should contact their provider directly for the latest updates.
 
Background

As a result of the extreme freezing weather conditions, a precautionary city-wide boil water notice was issued on February 17, 2021, due to power loss at The Ullrich Water Treatment Plant. With the reduction of water treatment capacity at Austin Water's largest water treatment facility, and with numerous leaks from freeze damaged water delivery infrastructure as well as private side plumbing, storage capacity and water pressures dropped, causing water outages across areas of the city. Austin Water worked with Austin Energy to bring Ullrich Water Treatment Plant back online within hours.

On February 18, 2021, all three Austin Water treatment plants began operating at stable mode and were once again producing more water than Austin was consuming, beginning the process of restoring water service system-wide. A leak detection and repair effort was underway across Austin to repair major water mains, the back-bone of Austin's water delivery system, allowing excess water production to flow into Austin's water reservoirs.

On February 19, 2021, as temperatures began to warm, and with road conditions improved, additional deliveries of equipment and water treatment supplies began to arrive at Austin Water treatment facilities expanding water production capacity even further.

On February 20, 2021, Austin Water implemented mandatory water-use restrictions and urged customers to limit water use to basic needs, critical for faster refilling of Austin's water reservoirs and improved system pressure.

By February 21, 2021, the majority of Austin residents had seen marked service improvements with only small pockets of Austin experiencing the lingering effects of the historic freezing event. 

A system-wide water quality testing effort has been underway, with the first all-clear test arriving on February 21 for the Central Pressure Zone. Water delivered to the above-mentioned pressure zone, meets all regulatory standards and is safe for human consumption. TCEQ has given the City of Austin the all-clear to lift the boil water notice for portions of the city. Water quality testing will continue, and customers will receive regular updates as the boil water notice is lifted city-wide.  

  • BOIL/SAFE WATER INTERACTIVE MAP: Customers are encouraged to visit www.austintexas.gov/page/boil-water-notice-and-faqs to view the interactive map outlining the areas still under boil-water notice and those which have received an all-clear to stop boiling.
"I want to recognize and thank the Austin community for answering the call for deep reductions in water use during this extreme deep freeze," said Spencer Cronk, Austin's City Manager. "It is through your actions that Austin Water has been able to stabilize and improve water service for customers across the city. Please continue to conserve water as the work of restoring water service to full capacity continues."

"We expect to have all of Austin with water service by today and boil water notice lifted city-wide shortly after," said Greg Meszaros, Director of Austin Water. "Austin Water remains committed to providing safe and reliable water service of the highest quality. 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."

Emergency Mandatory Water-Use Restrictions

The following emergency mandatory water-use restrictions remain in place until further notice. These restrictions are necessary to ensure that adequate water supply is available to meet customer needs while the system returns to normal operations.

During emergency water restrictions, customers may not:
  • Use water for irrigation or testing of irrigation equipment
  • Wash vehicles, including at commercial car wash facilities
  • Wash pavement or other surfaces
  • Add water to a pool or spa
  • Conduct foundation watering, or
  • Operate an ornamental fountain or pond, other than aeration necessary to support aquatic life
Austin Water continues to work closely with Austin-Travis County Emergency Operations Center and city, county and state agencies to coordinate the final stages of the water treatment system recovery.

Customer Resources

Customers can visit www.austintexas.gov/page/boil-water-notice-and-faqs for more information, frequently asked questions and to view the interactive map showing areas of Austin still under the boil-water notice.

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