The Ullrich water treatment plant in West Austin, which lost power Wednesday, is back online, but the citywide boil water notice remains in effect—and could linger.
Austin Water confirmed that its treatment plants are operating "in a stable mode" in a tweet Thursday morning. But the local utility added that it is "facing significant challenges to restore water distribution throughout the system" and is working to address the needs of critical customers, such as hospitals and power plants.
Austin Water's treatment plants are operating in a stable mode at this time, but we are facing significant challenges to restore water distribution throughout the system. The citywide boil water notice continues, and all customers are asked to boil water for drinking and cooking.
— Austin Water (@AustinWater) February 18, 2021
"The plant is back online," Austin Mayor Steve Adler told KXAN on Thursday morning, "and yes, we just need people to conserve at this point so we can just build up the reserves and the pressure, and the water boil will come off, but we need people to conserve water."
Water consumption surpassed typical usage by more than 250% on Wednesday, which Austin Water attributed to dripping faucets, leaking pipes and line breaks caused by freezing temperatures. This caused water pressure and storage to drop significantly, to below minimum standards, which can introduce contaminants into the water system.
As a result, Austin Water and city officials announced a citywide boil water notice late Wednesday. Residents are also being encouraged to conserve water and to stop dripping their faucets, despite the ongoing risk of burst pipes.
State law requires water testing before a boil water notice can be lifted. Toby Baker, executive director of the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality, said Wednesday that there are only 135 labs in the state that can do the necessary sampling, which means notices in Austin and elsewhere could linger, according to a report by the Texas Tribune; approximately 12 million Texans across 590 public water systems were experiencing disruptions in water service as of late Wednesday afternoon.
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The Texas French Bread Bakery, located on 2900 Rio Grande Street, has been completely destroyed after a fire erupted on Monday night.
The Austin Fire Department responded to the fire just before 11 p.m., where they arrived to see flames coming from the roof of the bakery. Firefighters fought the fire for about an hour before the roof collapsed.
While no one was injured in the fire, firefighters say the historic building was completely totaled.
Texas French Bread just went up in flames pic.twitter.com/agXqKN3c00
— Jordan (@AimIessFriend) January 25, 2022
AFD determined that the fire was accidental and caused by mechanical failure. AFD said the damages amounted to $1.6 million total: $1.1 million in structural damage and $500,000 in damage to the contents of the bakery.
This year, Texas French Bread will celebrate 40 years of business. Before the bakery occupied the building, it was the Rome Inn, a music venue that hosted 1970s artists like Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Austin's first major league team is ready to extend its reach with a new collaborative sports complex The Pitch, an Austin FC destination packed with local food, beverages and Verde fervor is set to open in Northeast Austin in February.
The Pitch, a collaboration between Austin FC and Karlin Real Estate, among other entities, will be located in the 50-acre Parmer Pond District, which already hosts the club's practice facility St. David's Performance Center.
Dubbed a "true destination" for both soccer fans and the community, The Pitch will consist of multilevel shipping containers designed by Mark Odom Studio that will carve out into a 1,200-seat stadium complete with a soccer pitch made of turf, food and beverage options and a five-acre "Parmer Pond" featuring jogging trails.
Made from multilevel shipping containers, The Pitch will include food and a 1,200-seat soccer pitch made from artificial turf. (The Pitch)
“The launch of Karlin’s new food and entertainment experience will greatly enhance the Parmer development while perfectly complimenting St. David’s Performance Center,” Austin FC founder Anthony Precourt said. "The Pitch... will offer a strong variety of food options and gathering spaces for guests who will utilize St. David’s Performance Center and Parmer Field for a variety of events.”
The Pitch project lead Dave Greeley, who helped come up with the concept, is a former president of Austin FC parent company, Two Oak Ventures.
“The vision behind The Pitch at the Parmer Pond District is to be a first-of-its-kind sports, dining and entertainment destination,” said Dave Greeley, The Pitch project lead and Team Orbis president. “This will be an unmatched experience for Parmer Austin tenants, Austin FC and club supporters, and the community."
With its proximity to the practice center, the venture hopes to contribute to the growing "soccer city" of Austin during Austin FC matches and youth games with the Austin FC Academy hosted at the St. David's Performance Center.
The Pitch hopes to converge both community and club interests with Austin FC. (The Pitch)
In addition to the soccer pitch, stadium and pond, The Pitch will provide a foody experience made by the creative team behind Austin staples like Fareground and Easy Tiger. The complex will offer local bites including:
- Ranger Burger, which offers beers and burgers made from highly-coveted Wagyu beef direct from Ranger Cattle in East Austin
- Ga Roti, which merges flavors from Northern Vietnam with the culinary techniques of France to create a unique rotisserie chicken joint
- Taco Flats, a local taco chain serving Mexico City-style tacos, micheladas and more
- Sand Bar, which fulfills its namesake with beauty cocktails, local beers and a sand volleyball court
- Coffee Club, a coffee shop and bakery
- Corner Kick Bar, the soccer-focused main bar of The Pitch complete with "tunes, TVs and (a) beer garden"
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