UPDATE: Austin Water partially lifted its boil water notice for the city Monday morning. Those who live in the utility’s central district, which includes parts of central, southeast and east Austin, no longer have to boil water.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Water hopes that every customer has water by Monday, but expect the boil water notice throughout the city to last longer.
Assistant director of Austin Water Randi Jenkins says the agency can’t give a definitive answer on how many Austinites are without water, but as of Sunday night, it’s now in the thousands, which is down from tens of thousands on Thursday.
This weekend, the community rallied together with churches, restaurants and breweries offering free water distribution sites. The City of Austin opened 10 water distribution sites Sunday — all intended for area residents who are most vulnerable and who can’t purchase or boil water — providing one free case of bottled water.
The City will continue its water distribution efforts at those same 10 locations Monday.
On Sunday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said 3.4 million bottles of water have arrived in the state by plane, helicopter and truck.
Before the boil water notice can be lifted in the city, Austin Water must test the water to prove it is bacteria-free, which takes 18-24 hours once the sample is collected. Jenkins told KXAN that crews are already in the process of taking samples.
Austin Water says it has coordinated with the state to be able to lift the boil water notices by pressure zones. They will notify each zone as it’s lifted.
Determining factors for turning on Austin’s water
In the video above, KXAN Meteorologist Nick Bannin explained how Austin Water will determine when the system is healthy.
Austin Water is made up of nine pressure zones throughout the city, ranging from southwest to central to northwest Austin.
Most of Austin’s pressure zones weren’t getting water Thursday. As of Sunday night, five pressure zones — Central, North, South, Southwest and Northwest — are at least getting a low pressure amount of water. Four pressure zones are still classified as having a water outage.
Austin Water says it needs 100 million gallons of water in storage for a healthy storage system with increased water pressure for all residents. On Thursday, Austin Water’s chart showed that there were only 12.5 million gallons of water in storage in the city.
Since Thursday, Austin Water has been working to fix broken pipes, which will refill its storage. The agency has been providing a storage update on its website two times a day — once in the morning and once in the evening.
On Sunday night, Austin Water reported its storage is at 90 million gallons of water.