Austin Water Issues City-wide Boil Water Notice
As of Oct. 22 at 10:31 AM
(Austin)— Austin Water has issued a city-wide boil water notice for all customers of Austin Water. The notice is being issued as the utility works to stabilize the water treatment system.
Historic flood waters flowing into our water supply lakes contain very high levels of silt that makes it challenging for the water plants to produce the volume of water needed to supply customers at this time. The high level of debris, silt and mud requires extended filtration that slows the process of getting treated water in to the system. To provide necessary water pressure for fire protection, plants must distribute water at treatment levels not typical of the utility’s high standards for consumption.
To ensure that water is safe, customers are asked to boil water used for drinking, cooking or ice until further notice. It’s important to note that there have been no positive tests for bacterial infiltration of the system at this time.
“Anyone who’s seen the water running through Ladybird Lake can see how muddy it is. The unprecedented rain and runoff through our entire lake system has simply overwhelmed our treatment capacity,” said Austin Mayor Steve Adler. “The good thing is that we can continue with most of our daily routines – like showering, hand washing and laundry – but we all need to do our part to conserve where we can, and boil the tap water we consume. We’re working with our partners in the school systems, health care, food service and neighboring cities to make sure we’re all working together.”
What can customers do?
- Reduce water use as much as possible to ensure adequate supply is available for basic needs, fire protection, public health and safety.
- Boil water intended for consumption. To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking and for making ice should be boiled and cooled prior to consumption. The water should be brought to a vigorous, rolling boil for three minutes. In lieu of boiling water, you may use bottled water.
- Businesses should not use drinking fountains or soda fountains that rely on tap water.
The boil water notice will be lifted once Austin Water can stabilize the treatment systems. Austin Water will notify residents when the water is safe for consumption and it is no longer necessary to boil the water.
City of Austin and Austin Water are working in coordination with public health and safety partners in the region to keep the public informed.
For more information, boil water notice updates (updates will be posted daily by 4 p.m.)
Boil Water Notice and FAQs
A CITY-WIDE BOIL WATER NOTICE IS IN EFFECT AS OF OCTOBER 22, 2018
To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking and for making ice should be boiled and cooled prior to consumption. The water should be brought to a vigorous, rolling boil for three minutes. You may also use bottled water. State laws require that a Boil Water Notice be issued if a water systems has (or could have) become contaminated from water main breaks, loss of system pressure, or results of routine sampling in the system.
- WHAT SHOULD I DO IF A BOIL WATER NOTICE IS ISSUED?
Do not drink the water without boiling it first. Bring all water to a rolling boil for at least three minutes, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, food preparation, and water for pets. Boiling kills harmful bacteria and other organisms in the water that may cause illness. You should throw away ice made during the time the notice was issued (freezing does not kill bacteria).
- IS THE WATER SAFE FOR WASHING DISHES, LAUNDRY, AND BATHING?
The water is safe for washing dishes, but you should use hot, soapy water and rinse dishes in boiled water. There are no restrictions on doing laundry. The water is also safe for bathing.
- HOW DO I PREPARE FOOD AND BABY FORMULA?
Only use boiled or bottled water for cooking, making ice, washing fruits and vegetables, and making baby formula. If you must use water to make formula, use bottled water. If you don’t have bottled water, use water that has been rapidly boiled for at least three minutes.
- HOW LONG WILL THE NEED TO BOIL WATER CONTINUE?
Customers should not stop boiling the water until they receive notice from Austin Water. Typically the need to boil water lasts for 24 to 48 hours, but can be longer. How long will depend on the conditions that caused the need to boil, how quickly the conditions are corrected, and how long it takes for laboratory results to confirm it is safe to return to normal water use. Austin Water will provide updates on the progress of corrective actions and how long the event is expected to last.
- WHAT DO I NEED TO DO WHEN THE NOTICE HAS BEEN LIFTED?
Austin Water will notify you when it is no longer necessary to boil the water. You should flush your water system by running all cold water faucets in your home for at least one minute, cleaning automatic ice makers by making and discarding three batches of ice, and running water softeners through a regeneration cycle.
- WHY IS THE BOIL WATER NOTICE IMPORTANT Inadequately treated water may contain harmful bacteria, viruses, and parasites which can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, some of the elderly and people with severely compromised immune systems.
For questions or concerns, please contact 3-1-1.
MAP OF AUSTIN WATER’S SERVICE AREA