Day 8: Two West Austin areas still don't have water as others return to normalcy with lifted boil notice and power
Austin Water lifted the boil water notice for its Central Austin zone—one of nine in its service area—early Monday morning, a week after a winter storm left hundreds of thousands of Austinites without power and, a couple days later, tens of thousands without water. The boil water notice remains in effect for the eight other zones—two of which are still experiencing a complete water outage. Meanwhile, power has been restored to almost the whole Austin area.
Most of Austin is still under a boil-water notice, while some do not even have water to boil. As of early Monday morning, two service zones—Northwest C and Southwest C—were still experiencing water outages.
Austin submitted water quality testing to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which confirmed on Sunday that tap water in the central pressure zone meets regulatory standards and is safe to consume. Residents can determine which zone their residence is located in using this map.
"We expect to have all of Austin with water service by today and (the) boil water notice lifted city-wide shortly after," Director Greg Meszaros said in a statement.
Overnight, Austin Water's reserves exceeded 118 million gallons, increasing water pressure and bringing the city's water system "into healthy territory," according to a press release from the city.
Austin Water also continued to urge customers with water service to take conservation measures "so we can return water service to everyone more quickly" in a tweet on Sunday evening.
The city issued emergency water use restrictions on Saturday, which remain in place. Until further notice, all outdoor water use is prohibited. 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
Water distribution update
The Austin-Travis County Emergency Operation Center will operate 16 free water distribution sites from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. while supplies last. (The Del Valle High School distribution site will open at 10 a.m.)
- Nelson Field (7105 Berkman Dr, Austin, TX 78752)
- Onion Creek Soccer Complex (5600 E. William Cannon Dr, Austin, TX 78744)
- Roy G. Guerrero Park (400 Grove Blvd, Austin, TX 78741)
- ACC Highland Mall Parking Lot (E. Highland Mall Blvd, Austin, TX 78752)
- ACC Pinnacle Campus (7748 Highway 290 West, Austin, TX 78736)
- Garrison Park (6001 Menchaca Rd, Austin, TX 78745)
- Lakeline Station (13625 Lyndhurst Blvd, Austin, TX 78717)
- Walnut Creek Park (12138 N. Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78753)
- Zilker Park (2301 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78746)
- Anderson High School (8403 Mesa Dr, Austin, TX 78759)
- Lago Vista/Jonestown (7905 Bronco Lane, Leander, TX 78645)
- Lakeway/Bee Cave (1941 Lohmans Crossing Rd, Lakeway TX 78734)
- 9300 FM2244, Austin, TX 78733
- Del Valle High School (5201 Ross Rd, Del Valle, TX 78617)
- Manor ISD Athletic Complex (14832 FM973, Manor, TX 78653)
- Mobile POD - San Leanna
Mon. 2/22 - Water distribution from 9am-5pm or until supplies run out, limit 1 case/pickup. Please reserve for those who can't buy or boil.
📍 ACC Pinnacle Campus
📍 Nelson Field
📍 Onion Creek Soccer Complex
📍 Roy G. Guerrero Park
👉 More info: https://t.co/C7l9GMLRXy
— City of Austin (@austintexasgov) February 22, 2021
Austin Energy's base rates are fixed and any changes must be authorized by Austin City Council. Residential customers are billed for their actual energy usage, and anyone without power during this time had no electric use recorded, according to the same release.
🔊CUSTOMER BILLING UPDATE:
Reports regarding potential bill spikes for non-Austin Energy customers are circulating and we want to make sure our customers have the most accurate information.
Our rates are fixed and must be authorized by Austin City Council.
— Austin Energy (@austinenergy) February 20, 2021
General Manager Jackie Sargent said Friday that the utility does not yet have enough information to predict rate impacts as a result of this statewide super crisis. "That is information that will be forthcoming," she added.
This story was updated at 9:29 a.m. to include the latest information on water outages from Austin Water.
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