Saturday, February 5, 2022

Austin Water Issues Precautionary Citywide Boil Water Notice

 

Mandatory Emergency Water Use Restrictions Are Issued

BOIL WATER NOTICE: All Austin Water Customers MUST boil water before using it for eating or drinking until further notice. Water must come to a rolling boil for 2 minutes, then allowed to cool until it is ready to use. Visit austintexas.gov/alerts for more information.

            AVISO PARA HERVIR AGUA: Todos los clientes del Departamento de Agua de Austin DEBEN hervir el agua antes de usarla para comer o beber. El agua deber hervir rigorosamente por dos minutos y luego dejarse enfriar antes de uso. Este aviso sigue en efecto hasta nuevo aviso. Visite austintexas.gov/alerts para mas información.


A city-wide precautionary boil water notice has been issued. Austin Water’s Ullrich Water Treatment Plant is out of service due to an internal treatment process issue that resulted in high turbidity within the plant. Crews and officials are working diligently to address the issue and restore operations at Ullrich Water Treatment Plant.

Austin Water is currently maintaining water service to customers by increasing water production at Davis and Handcox Water Treatment Plants and by carefully managing pumping within the network of water pipelines. There have been no power disruptions at drinking water plants.

Any water recovered from plumbing systems should be boiled before drinking or cooking with it following the guidelines at www.austintexas.gov/page/boil-water-notice-and-faqs

For more information and updates, stay posted to local news, city social media, or visit us online at www.austinwater.org.

"We all need to do our part when something like this happens, and we will. We can also be frustrated, as I am, that there's yet another situation to deal with," said Mayor Steve Adler. "We can be thankful, too, that the situation was noticed quickly and steps taken, any public health risk is very, very small, and we're much better prepared right now with equipment and supplies as we open water distribution stations. It appears this will be over in a couple of days, and the city will keep everyone informed along the way. Please help your neighbors."


Mandatory Emergency Water Use Restrictions Issued due to Limited Treatment Capacity

Austin Water Director, Greg Meszaros, has issued emergency water use restrictions, effective at 7:30 p.m., on February 5, 2022.

Water use restrictions are authorized under §6-4-20 of Chapter 6-4 Water Conservation of Austin Municipal Code to protect public health, safety, welfare, infrastructure, or available resources in the event of an unusual water system operational event, catastrophic occurrence, severe weather event, or other emergency disaster situation which necessitates such restrictions.

These emergency water use restrictions are necessary to ensure water is available for firefighting and basic needs.

Residential Customers
During this period, residential customers are asked to curtail indoor water use as much as possible. Until further notice, all outdoor water use is prohibited. Residential 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.
  • Operate an ornamental fountain or pond, other than aeration necessary to support aquatic life.
 
Commercial Customers
All commercial customers are required to reduce water use unless needed for health and safety. Manufacturing customers, specifically those that use an average of over 100,000 gallons per day, are asked to reduce water use as much as possible. Commercial customers may not:
  • Use water for irrigation (including athletic fields).
  • Conduct commercial car washing.
 
Retail customers of Wholesale Districts
The above boil water notice and emergency water use restrictions are also in effect for retail customers of Austin Water Wholesale Districts and Utilities, including:
  • 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
  • High Valley
  • Mid-Tex Utilities
  • North Austin MUD 1

 
Official Notice Language
 
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) sets minimum water quality standards for public drinking water. One of these standards is a turbidity limit.  Turbidity by itself has no health effects.  However, turbidity can interfere with disinfection and provide a medium for microbial growth.  Turbidity may also indicate the presence of disease-causing organisms.  These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and associated headaches.  These symptoms can be particularly severe in people who are not as resistant to infections as most of the population.  If you experience severe symptoms, please consult with your doctor to determine what actions you should take.
 
Austin Water, PWS ID TX2270001, failed to meet the minimum treatment technique requirements for the month of February 2022. Specifically, our water system had a a multiple barrier failure treatment technique violation (CFE >1.0 NTU and IFE >2.0 NTU) and combined filter effluent turbidity (CFE) readings above 5.0 NTU.
 
Due to the nature and severity of this violation, the TCEQ has required us to issue this public notice and to tell all our customers that they should boil their water prior to consumption. 

To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, any water that you use for drinking, cooking, or ice making should be boiled prior to consumption.  The water should be brought to a vigorous rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes.  (Be sure to let it cool before drinking it.)  In lieu of boiling, you may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source.  When it is no longer necessary to boil the water, we will notify you.
 
Please share this information with all people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (i.e., people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.
 
If you have questions regarding this matter, you may contact Austin Water’s Customer Service Center at Austin Water 512-972-1000.
Posted /Delivered on: Feb. 5, 2022
 
Please visit austinwater.org for updates. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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