Austin issues city-wide boil water notice following flooding
KVUE — The City of Austin issued a city-wide boil water notice in the early morning hours of October 22. The city says historic flooding brought high levels of silt into the city's water supply, so it is challenging for the water plants to produce the volume of water needed to supply customers.
The city plans to lift the boil water notice once the treatment systems are stabilized, but it's not known the exact time when that will happen, Austin Water said. Turbidity measures the degree of clarity for water and Austin Water said the level the Colorado River is at now is unprecedented.
"Typical drinking water is 0.3 NTU of clarity. The river water is over 400 and we've never seen it to that level before"
Need to know
To ensure that water is safe, the city is asking all customers to boil water used for drinking, cooking, or ice.
The high level of debris, silt and mud in the water supply requires an extended filtration process.
In news release, the city said, “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.”
The city said there have been no positive tests for bacterial infiltration in the water system.
Mayor Steve Adler is asking anyone who uses the city’s water to conserve water.
All Travis County Water District 10 customers are affected by Austin's boil water notice. Officials said they purchase water from the City of Austin. Their customers are asked to boil water as well.
The City of Pflugerville said their water is not impacted by Austin's city-wide boil water notice.
"Due to the benefits of the Lake Pflugerville surface water and our treatment process, there is no concern for Pflugerville water customers at this time. If you receive water from a source other than the City of Pflugerville, please contact them directly for additional information about your water. City of Pflugerville water customers are NOT affected by Austin's boil water alert," the city said in a release.
Schools and businesses
This boil water notice affects thousands of people in Austin, including schools and businesses.
Austin ISD said they are aware of the notice and have informed all principals and district leadership. School leaders said all schools will run as normal with some adjustments. Officials said campus drinking fountains are covered and closed off to students. Austin ISD said they've informed cafeteria managers of the boil instructions for safety. As a result, officials said they won't offer a salad bar for students and would adjust the menu to focus on hot vegetables and fruits such as apples and oranges. Austin ISD said they would provide water for students, but they're also encouraging students to bring their own drinks from home. All campuses are also accepting water donations, Austin ISD said.
Austin Community College said they are aware of the situation, and they've already taped off water fountains at impacted campuses within the city limits. All ACC campuses will remain open and students and employees are encouraged to bring water bottles to school.
Manor ISD said they are impacted by the Austin Water boil water notice. Officials said all impacted campuses will provide bottled water for students and staff. Manor ISD said the school cafeterias would take the proper steps to make sure that all water used for meals is safe. Parents are encouraged to send their children to school with bottled water.
To read the full story, head to KVUE.