Residential Customers May Return to Regular Indoor Water Use, All other Emergency Water Use Restrictions Remain in Place
AUSTIN- Austin Water has lifted the boil water notice for all customers. The notice has been in place since Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. Customers no longer need to boil water used for drinking, cooking and, making ice. Water quality testing submitted to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has confirmed that tap water meets all regulatory standards and is safe for human consumption.
On February 17, the 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 no longer requires boiling prior to use as of February 23, 2021.
“Today we can report that Austin’s water system has been restored to normal operations and the boil water notice has been lifted for all our customers,” said Austin Water Director Greg Meszaros. “There is still a lot to do to repair water pipelines that were damaged by the freezing weather, but customers should only experience occasional impacts from that work. We are thankful for the community’s efforts to conserve water over this past week to help us restore our operations today.”
“Rescinding the boil water notice today is the result of round-the-clock efforts by Austin Water, as well as actions taken by our community to help their neighbors by using less water,” said City Manager Spencer Cronk. “This is a strong community that looks out for each other, and together we’ve achieved this important milestone in our recovery from last week’s freezing event.”
If customers have questions concerning this matter, visit www.austintexas.gov/page/boil-water-notice-and-faqsor 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: N ight 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.
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, 2021 for the Central Pressure Zone. Additional all-clear tests arrived on February 22, 2021 for the South, North, and Northwest A Pressure Zones. The all-clear tests for the remaining pressure zones arrived on February 23, 2021. The City of Austin has the all clear to lift the boil water notice for its entire service area.
Water Quality Testing
Austin Water worked with state officials at TCEQ to establish corrective actions necessary to lift the boil water notice. The actions included analyzing more than 70 water samples from throughout the system across the City. Test results, reviewed by TCEQ officials, indicated that water provided by Austin meets all regulatory standards and is safe for human consumption. On February 23, City of Austin issued the all-clear to lift the boil water notice for all customers of Austin Water.
Emergency Mandatory Water-Use Restrictions
Residential customers may return to regular indoor water use. However, 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
Customers can flush household pipes, ice makers, water fountains, etc. prior to using for drinking or cooking. Flushing simply means letting the water run to ensure that there is fresh water flowing through your pipes.
Follow the following guidelines for flushing:
- Run all cold water faucets in your home for one minute
- To flush automatic ice makers, make three batches of ice and discard
- Run water softeners through a regeneration cycle
Customers can visit www.austintexas.gov/page/boil-water-notice-and-faqs for more information and frequently asked questions.
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