AUSTIN (KXAN) — Greg Meszaros, the director of Austin Water, has resigned amid questions regarding the city’s third boil water notice in the past four years. Meszaros resignation was confirmed by a memo from Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk.
Meszaros resignation comes after scrutiny following the city’s most recent boil water notice that was in place for several days. According to Austin Water, the notice was sent out as a precaution on Feb. 5 following an “internal treatment process issue” at the Ulrich Water Treatment Plant.
Officials later said the issue was caused by an employee error and led to high turbidity in water samples. The Texas Commission of Environmental Quality required the issue of a boil water notice if high turbidity levels were detected, due to indications of a “severe failure in filtration and possibly other treatment processes.”
The notice spurred Austin City Council members to call for an external audit of the utility.
Cronk released a memo Friday stating Meszaros was transitioning out of his role after 15 years of leading the utility.
“Director Meszaros, the entire Austin Water Utility, and I all understand the immense responsibilities to the public and know how important it is to restore and nurture the public’s faith and trust during this transition,” said Cronk in a statement to KXAN. “We are committed to doing all that is necessary to regain that trust. Nothing is more important to me and our organization. I thank Director Meszaros for all his years of service and leadership, and for being an integral part of my executive team. I wish him and his family the very best.”
Cronk said he will be identifying an interim director in the coming days.
Three employees were also placed on administrative leave while an investigation takes place, according to a memo Meszaros wrote prior to his resignation.
“A full review of this event has begun to determine the events leading up to the operational error at the
Ullrich Treatment Plant and to identify corrective actions needed to prevent this from occurring again,” Mezsaros wrote in a memo Friday. “The employees will not perform plant operation duties until the investigation has been completed and management has assessed any applicable discipline in accordance with the Municipal Civil Services Rules.”
Their employment status hasn’t changed, the memo said.