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Boil-water notice expected to last until Tuesday after human error at water treatment plant


While the lights stayed on after one of the "most significant" ice storms for Texas, Austin residents once again had to take precautions against another essential utility: water. Residents are still being asked to boil their water for consumption and conserve it after Austin Water employees made a mistake at the Ullrich Water Treatment Plant.

The city-wide precautionary boil water notice went into effect on Saturday night and by Sunday, Austin Water Director Greg Meszaros said they found the internal issue to be an "error by operating staff" at the Ullrich Water Treatment Plant.

“In the process of clarification there were oversights and errors and had some turbidity issues and the process was not stopped and attended to,” Meszaros said.

The notice is expected to end on Tuesday night as water sampling begins Monday at the Ullrich Water Treatment Plant. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has to authorize the lifting of the boil water notice.

While boiling water is reminiscent of when Austin residents went days under a boil-water after Winter Storm Uri, Meszaros said this boil-water notice is unrelated to the ice storm that passed through Austin last week. This is the third boil-water notice since 2018.

City Manager Spencer Cronk has said a full investigation into the issue will take place and there could be possible terminations at Austin Water.

Additionally, Council Member Paige Ellis requested a special called council meeting Sunday on Austin Water infrastructure. City council members are expected to receive a complete report by the end of this week on the issue that led to the boil-water notice.

If you're wondering if your home falls under a boil-water notice, view a map here of those affected.

For those able to boil their water, they should let it sit at a boil for two minutes for it to be safe to drink or eat.

The city is providing water to those unable to buy or boil. Residents can pick up water from the following locations on Monday:

Travis County Expo Center
7311 Decker Lane, Austin, TX 78724
Hours: Open Noon to 8 p.m.

Southeast Metropolitan Park
4511 State Hwy 71, Del Valle, TX 78617
Hours: Open Noon to 8 p.m.

Austin Water Glen Bell Service Center*
3907 S. Industrial Dr, Austin, TX 78744
Hours: Open 24 Hours
* Customers must bring an empty water container.

Austin Water North Service Center*
901 W Koenig Ln, Austin, TX 78756
Hours: Open 24 Hours
* Customers must bring an empty water container.

Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex
10211 W Parmer Ln, Austin, TX 78717
Hours: Open Noon to 8 p.m.

Travis County Tax Office-Southeast
4011 McKinney Falls Pkwy
Austin, TX 79744
Hours: Open Noon to 8 p.m.

Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park
12138 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78753
Hours: Open Noon to 8 p.m.


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