LIVE BLOG: Austin Water on track to lift boil water notice Sunday

Austin
Flower emerges from flooding debris at the Lago Vista Golf Club on Oct. 26, 2018

This live blog has been archived. For information on the lifted boil water notice, click here.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — For the first time in its history, Austin Water issued a citywide boil water notice starting early Monday morning for Austin residents due to high levels of silt from floodwaters. 

Water used for drinking, cooking or ice should be boiled for three minutes until further notice, Austin Water said. Follow this story for updates. App users, click here to view photos and videos

Areas affected by boil water notice:

  • Austin
  • Travis County Water District 10
  • Wells Branch MUD
  • North Austin MUD #1
  • Northtown MUD
  • West Travis County PUA
  • Sunset Valley
  • Rollingwood
  • Mid-Texas Utilities public water system in southwest Austin

3:31 p.m. Sunday — Austin Water lifts Boil Water Notice

Sunday afternoon, Austin Water lifted the city’s Boil Water Notice on the seventh day of its mandate. Residents are no longer required to boil their water for cooking, drinking, or making ice. 

The public water system says that the water quality has been restored to be satisfactory for consumption according to the te sting and necessary corrective actions. However, some of the water-use restrictions will stay in place until further notice.

Conservation is still required so that an adequate supply of water is available while the system returns to normal ways of operations.

10:17 a.m. Sunday — Water distribution sites remain open as boil water notice continues

As of Sunday, Oct. 28th, Austin Water customers are to observe the boil water notice and emergency conservation ordinance for the seventh day in a row.

The Austin-Travis County Emergency Operations Center is still actively working with the State, Austin Water, and LCRA to test and monitor the water conditions using the appropriate quality procedures.

Until the boil notice has been lifted, residents are being asked to keep boiling water before cooking or drinking. The city also asks that everyone abstains from from unnecessary water usage such as the following:

  • Avoid all outdoor water use and minimize indoor use immediately.
  • Not use water for irrigation or testing of irrigation equipment
  • Not wash vehicles, including at commercial car wash facilities
  • Not wash pavement or other surfaces
  • Not add water to a pool or spa
  • Not conduct foundation watering
  • Don’t operate an ornamental fountain or pond, other than aeration necessary to support aquatic life

Water should be brought to a boil for three minutes before drinking or cooking. Alternatively, residents can drink bottled water or visit one of the water distribution locations in Austin between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. :

  • Walnut Creek Park (12138 N Lamar Blvd)
  • City of Austin Warehouse, formerly Home Depot (7211 N IH 35 SVRD NB)
  • Roy G. Guerrero Park (400 Grove Blvd)
  • Onion Creek Soccer Complex (5600 E William Cannon Dr)
  • Dick Nichols Park (8011 Beckett Rd)
  • Kelley Reeves Athletic Complex (10211 W. Parmer Ln) **closes 5 p.m. on Friday**
  • Circuit of the Americas (9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd)

6:20 p.m. Saturday — West Travis County Public Utility Agency lifts boil water notice

As of Saturday, Oct. 27, the West Travis County Public Utility Agency has lifted the previously issued boil water notice. Officials said the public water system has corrected and restored the quality of water.

The utility agency serves people in Western Travis and northern Hays counties.

Customers in Bee Cave and Dripping Springs can now safely drink and use the water for consumption purposes, according to a post on their website.

They have provided the TCEQ with lab test results that say the water no longer requires boiling. 

Customers whose water is provided by the agency should still try to conserve water though because stage 4 emergency water conservation measures are still in place because of ongoing high Lake Austin Turbidity levels. The levels have reduced the water treatment plant’s capacity.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Trey Cantu, the utility agency’s operations manager, at 512-651-7993 or email tcantu@wtcpua.org. 

There’s no word yet on an exact date or time for when Austin’s boil water notice will be lifted. 

12:43 p.m. — Lake Buchanan reopens to the public

As of noon Friday, Lake Buchanan has reopened for public use, the Lower Colorado River Authority announced.

Inks Lake, Lake LBJ, Lake Marble Falls and Lake Travis will remain closed until at least Tuesday, Oct. 30 because of debris and unsafe conditions from recent flooding, the LCRA said.

Floodgate operations continue at Mansfield and Tom Miller dams.

11 a.m. — Update from Austin Water, mayor, city manager

The Austin Water director, Greg Meszaros, said the utility feeling positive about expecting Sunday to be the last day of the boil water notice. The raw water quality has improved where drinking water quality is good and system pressured are solid, Meszaros said.

Austin Water will be gathering water samples through the weekend to submit to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. It is not guaranteed that the notice will be lifted Sunday, officials said.

The city will be sending out guidance for residents who want to flush out their water systems before resuming use.

Mayor Steve Adler said the community has been tested multiple times and has stepped forward.

If the boil water notice is lifted, residents should expect usage restrictions to remain in place.

With reporting by Steffi Lee

8:52 a.m. — Happening today

The city of Austin sent out a summary of the latest with the boil water notice. Here are the highlights:

Water quality update

Austin has two things going for it when it comes to water quality: there’s no rain in the immediate forecast and floodwaters are slowing. That means debris, silt and mud are settling, making the water clearer and making it easier for water plants to treat more water.

“More water testing and monitoring will still be done but the reductions in water use by the Austin community have helped Austin Water make gains and better stabilize the water treatment system,” the city wrote in a statement.

Austin’s reservoirs are about 50 percent full and continuing to fill up.

Water distribution sites open Friday

All but the Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. That location is only open until 5 p.m.

  • Walnut Creek Park (12138 N Lamar Blvd)
  • City of Austin Warehouse, formerly Home Depot (7211 N IH 35 Svrd NB)
  • Roy G. Guerrero Park (400 Grove Blvd)
  • Onion Creek Soccer Complex (5600 E William Cannon Dr)
  • Dick Nichols Park (8011 Beckett Rd)
  • Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex (10211 W. Parmer Ln) **Closing at 5 p.m. on Friday**
  • Circuit of the Americas (9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd)

On Thursday, all the sites served a total of 16,785 vehicles and handed out 40,232 cases (127,133 gallons) of bottled water.

Open and closed

Buchanan Lake will open to the public at noon Friday. Lakes Inks, LBJ, Marble Falls and Travis are still closed until at least Tuesday. 

Austin still has its waterways ban in effect. Other city facilities and parks are closed:

  • Bartholomew Pool
  • Springwoods Pool
  • Red Bud Isle and Red Bud Trail
  • Butler/Liz Carpenter fountains
  • Barton Springs Pool
  • Walsh Boat Landing
  • Boating concessions on Lady Bird Lake
  • Emma Long Park restrooms/water (Park remains open and port-a-potties are available for campers.)
  • Water fountains throughout park system

How restaurants are washing hands and dishes

Austin Public Health staff worked with restaurants to determine how best to handle hand washing and dishwashing. Below are their guidelines for food establishments, which are endorsed by the Austin Health Authority and are consistent with best practices advised by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control:

  • Commercial dishwashers providing a hot water rinse (165°F – 180°F) or a chemical sanitizing cycle may be used. Machines must be properly maintained and operated as required by Texas Food Establishment Rules. Air-dry all wares after sanitizing.
  • All food handlers handling or preparing foods are required to wash hands (using existing water sources) as required by the Texas Food Establishment Rules, then apply an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, followed by the donning of single use (disposable) gloves. No bare-hand contact with ready-to-eat foods is allowed.

8:00 a.m. Friday — Friday morning update

6:20 p.m. — Storage water reservoirs at 50 percent full

The city said Thursday afternoon the water treatment system is strengthening as a result of reductions in water use by the community and improving raw water quality.

Storage water reservoirs are currently at about 50 percent and are continuing to climb.

Also Thursday, MillerCoors announced it was donating 50,000 cans of water to residents affected by the boil water notice.

The water cans will be shipped from the MillerCoors brewery in Trenton, Ohio and are expected to arrive early next week in Manor. 

4:10 p.m. — Video: The history of boil water notices

KXAN’s Phil Prazan breaks down the origin of boil water notices and what triggers one to be issued.

12:59 p.m. — Austin Water shoots for Sunday to end boil water notice

Austin Water is “targeting Sunday” to end the boil water notice, but it depends on a number of factors, according to spokeswoman Ginny Guerrero.

The river water will need to keep improving before then. Austin Water also needs to make sure the capacity of the plants is enough once the boil water notice is lifted.

“We still have a lot of testing and monitoring to do,” Guerrero said. “We are urging folks to continue to reduce water use as we are still in Emergency Water Use Restrictions.”

12:15 p.m. — Austin Mayor signs disaster declaration

Austin Mayor Steve Adler signed a disaster declaration for the city Thursday, joining both the state and county in declaring disasters in the area following flooding in recent weeks and the effects of it.

“The declaration is a necessary administrative step that allows the City to seek reimbursement for expenses related to our recent weather emergencies,” a release from the city said.

The disaster declaration will last for a week, but can be renewed with the City Council’s blessing.

12:07 p.m. — Amount of water people can take increased at one distribution site

People who go to the Kelly Reeves Athletics Complex at 10211 W. Parmer Lane can now take up to four cases of water per vehicle. The water is for people with special needs, who can’t boil water or need bottled water for work. People must provide their zip code when they arrive.

This distribution site is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. all days except Friday, where it will close at 5 p.m.

Since Wednesday morning, this distribution site has given out more than 600 cases of water.

6:00 a.m. — Workers prepare to distribute more water

5:54 a.m. Thursday — More coverage of the boil water notice

Doctors warn more could be done to stay safe during boil water notice

After a few days under a boil water notice, doctors are warning Austinites not to become lax about it.

Dr. Meena Iyer, Chief Medical Officer at Dell Children’s Medical Center, says no one knows if or when harmful bacteria might show up in the city’s water. Dr. Iyer says while most people realize they can’t drink Austin’s water without boiling it first, many still aren’t taking every precaution:

  • Brush teeth with boiled/bottled water
  • Use hand sanitizer after washing hands in the tap
  • Keep showers short and avoid washing the face with tap water
  • Don’t hand wash clothes or dishes with tap water

Read the full story here

City doesn’t know if water to blame for 14 reported stomach issues

The city advises all families to take precautions. Wednesday, the director of Austin Public Health, Stephanie Hayden, told KXAN they know of at least 14 people who went to the hospital with gastrointestinal problems. Hayden says they don’t yet know if the water is to blame.

Meanwhile, the city is taking action. The city set up this free distribution center. Austin Public Health is also in charge of making sure restaurants and food trucks are boiling their water. They have 25 inspectors going around with technical assistance and on-site education. 

Click here to read the full story

Efforts to restore Austin Water to normal complicated by “cloudiness”

Tuesday night, water from city of Austin water treatment plants failed to meet the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) standards, triggering a mandatory boil water notice on top of the precautionary boil notice the city already issued. In particular, the turbidity level (or level or suspended particles in the water) was at or above the 5 turbidity units that are allowed for finished drinking water by the state. 

Austin Water Director Greg Meszaros clarified, this spike didn’t necessarily signal a decline in water quality so much as an ongoing challenge with how many particles are in the water. 

The city said the flare-up in turbidity with their filtered water was a one-time event that was corrected by Wednesday morning by curbing the amount of water their plants produce. Meszaros said that by cutting down the amount their plants produce, the better they are able to control the quality. 

The city is pushing to improve water quality quickly and to discourage public use of water to ease the demands on water treatment plants. 

Click here to read the full story

3 p.m. — Austin Water very concerned about future rain

Austin Water said it is very concerned about rain anticipated for Wednesday and are monitoring radar to see how their systems will be affected.

The utility said turbidity levels have been restored to normal in the water as of Wednesday morning by decreasing water production. In order for the boil water notice to be lifted, they would need to complete bacteriological testing.

Tuesday, the city experienced a brief spike in turbidity, which triggered an official mandatory boil water notification, as required by state law. Monday, the city issued a precautionary boil water notice.

“The spike in turbidity does not require any change to precautionary measures already in place and does not put the public at additional risk,” the city of Austin said Wednesday.

It remains unclear if the city will be required to flush water from the system before lifting the boil water notice.

Austin Water said the public decrease in water use is good, but they would like to see more.

12:56 p.m. — Water distribution site opens at COTA

Travis County has opened another water distribution site for “underserved communities, people with special needs, and those who are unable to boil water,” at Circuit of the Americas. That brings the total number of distribution sites in the Austin area to seven.

  • Circuit of the Americas Parking Lot A (9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd.)
  • Kelly Reeves Athletics Complex (10211 W. Parmer Lane)
  • Walnut Creek Park (12138 N Lamar Blvd)
  • City of Austin Warehouse, formerly Home Depot (7211 N IH 35 SVRD NB)
  • Roy G. Guerrero Park (400 Grove Blvd)
  • Onion Creek Soccer Complex (5600 E William Cannon Dr)
  • Dick Nichols Park (8011 Beckett Rd)

The distribution centers are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

10:05 a.m. — Williamson County distributing water to Austin Water customers

In addition to five distribution sites in Austin, Williamson County Emergency Management is helping provide water to those in need.

People with special needs, those who cannot boil their own water or people who need bottled water for work can go to the Kelly Reeves Athletics Complex at 10211 W Parmer Lane in Austin. It is open every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. On Friday it’s only open until 5 p.m.

“To receive bottled water, customers will be asked for their zip code and the total number of people in the household, where they will receive one gallon per person,” Williamson County said in a release.

9:55 a.m. — WTCPUA implements Stage 4 restrictions

West Travis County PUA is implementing Stage 4 emergency water conservation measures because of high water levels and cloudy water.

It says customers must stop using water in ways that are not essential. That includes stopping irrigation, only using fire hydrant water for firefighting and other activities “necessary to maintain public health, safety, and welfare.” Applications will not be allowed or approved for new or expanded water service connections, meters, service lines, pipeline extensions, mains or water service facilities.

9:48 a.m. — Some dams end floodgate operations

While floodgates at Buchanan, Wirtz and Starcke dams are closed, more rain in the forecast could mean some will have to reopen, the Lower Colorado River Authority said Wednesday morning.

“People near all dams along the Highland Lakes should stay alert to changing conditions and be ready to take action to protect people and property,” the LCRA said.

Four floodgates are still open at Mansfield Dam, and the LCRA expects them to stay open at least until the end of the month. Floodgates are also still open at the Tom Miller and Longhorn dams.

6:48 a.m. — Places to pick up free water

There are five free water distribution sites opening up Wednesday for those who have special needs, who cannot boil water, or who need bottled water for work. People are limited to one gallon of water per person. 

Below is a list of distribution sites, which are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

  • Walnut Creek Park (12138 N Lamar Blvd)
  • City of Austin Warehouse, formerly Home Depot (7211 N IH 35 SVRD NB)
  • Roy G. Guerrero Park (400 Grove Blvd)
  • Onion Creek Soccer Complex (5600 E William Cannon Dr)
  • Dick Nichols Park (8011 Beckett Rd)

Schools are also providing water for students to use.

6:30 a.m. Wednesday — Austin Water issues ‘official’ boil water notice

Although Austin is already under a boil water notice, the city sent out an official notice Wednesday because the water quality standards no longer meet state regulatory requirements.  

On Monday, the city sent out the boil water notice as a precaution. At that time, it says it did not exceed the turbidity standards (a measurement of cloudiness in the water). Now, by Tuesday measurements show they have not met water quality requirements, so by state law the city has to issue another boil water notice. 

“Turbidity by itself has no health effects. However, turbidity can interfere with disinfection and provide a medium for microbial growth,” the city said in a statement. “Turbidity may also indicate the presence of disease-causing organisms. These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and associated headaches.” 

The city has not found any harmful bacteria in the water at this time.

This new notification doesn’t mean people should make any changes to how they treat the water. People should continue to boil water or use bottled as they have been doing. The city has also banned outdoor water use and is asking people to conserve water if they can.

3:50 p.m. Tuesday — Good news from city officials in Tuesday afternoon briefing

City officials had good news Tuesday afternoon as they updated the city on the boil water notice, but possible heavy rain Wednesday could delay efforts to certify Austin’s water as clean.

City Manager Spencer Cronk said there is no indication at this point that the boil water situation will be a long-term issue. “We’re talking days, not weeks,” he said.

Cronk, addressing the city’s pleas for residents to reduce their water consumption, said, “The good news is that you heard us and it’s working.”

Mayor Steve Adler said while it was previously stated 108 million gallons of water was being produced in a city consuming 120 million gallons, that disparity has been resolved as Austinites consume less.

“We’re no longer upside down, we’re refilling reservoirs, but we need people to continue conserving,” Adler said.

Addressing the “confusion” from a Tuesday morning briefing by Eric Carter, Travis County’s chief emergency management coordinator — which included an initial estimate for the boil water period of 10-14 days — Mayor Adler said the county was planning for a 2-week period instead of anticipating one.

Greg Meszaros, the director of Austin Water, said the utility is seeing improvements across all its water systems, with the lowest usage day so far being Tuesday.

Because Wednesdays and Thursdays are typically the largest water usage days in Austin, Meszaros is hoping Austinites continue the trend of conserving water throughout the week.

The combined capacity of the three treatment plants is currently one-third of what it is usually, Meszaros said, but it is still improving, emphasizing that Austin is producing more water than consuming.

“The one thing we can control is how much water we use. We can’t control the weather,” the Austin Water director said.

When asked why a phone alert about the boil water notice was not issued earlier, Juan Ortiz, director of Homeland Security and emergency management in Austin, said, “We did the best that we could given the circumstances at the time.”

Watch the full Tuesday afternoon press conference 

3:04 p.m. — AISD on bottled water

In response to a parent complaint, Austin ISD said no schools are selling water to students. Water bottles are currently free at every campus.

Monday, the district says some campuses didn’t receive the message about free water and were selling bottles for $1 as usual. AISD says the students who paid for water Monday will be reimbursed.

12:37 p.m. — Randalls donates water to food bank

After stocking up its shelves with water for customers to buy, Randalls donated pallets and pallets of water to the Central Texas Food Bank, Austin Salvation Army and Austin Red Cross.

12:34 p.m. — No washes for CapMetro buses

Capital Metro said it has stopped washing its buses to help reduce water use in the city. “We will continue to evaluate the situation,” a spokesperson said.

Monday afternoon, the city of Austin banned all outdoor water use, including washing cars.

12:17 p.m. — Austin Water says boil water notice should only last handful of days

The Austin Water director says the utility does not anticipate the boil water issue lasting beyond a “handful of days.”

Greg Meszaros says Austin Water’s estimate depends on variables like weather and usage demands.

“We continue to make long-term plans in the event this situation isn’t quickly resolved. We will continue to monitor the situation and ask that public continue to be diligent in reducing water usage,” Meszaros said.

Austin Water’s estimate is significantly shorter than the estimate given by the county’s emergency services coordinator before the Commissioners Court Tuesday morning. 

Eric Carter said the initial estimate was 10-14 days.

11:39 a.m. — Kingsland boil water notice ends

The water in Kingsland is now safe to drink, after a boil water notice in place since last week was lifted. 

“The public water system has taken the necessary corrective actions to restore the quality of the water distributed by this public water system used for drinking water or human consumption purposes and has provided TCEQ with laboratory test results that indicate that the water no longer requires boiling prior to use,” the Kingsland Water Supply Corporation wrote. Kingsland residents had to boil water starting last Tuesday.

10:43 a.m. — Travis County prepares for boil water notice to last up to 2 weeks

Initial estimates are that the boil water situation could go on for 10-14 days as the water system tries to settle, said Eric Carter, the chief emergency management coordinator for Travis County.

Carter gave the estimate to the Travis County Commissioners Court Tuesday morning. Hector Nieto, a spokesperson for Travis County, said officials are making preparations for a boil water notice that lasts two weeks.

“We aren’t necessarily at a water shortage,” Carter said. “We just have a situation where we have to take an extra step to make sure our water is safe for us to drink.”

Carter said around 880,000 users are affected by the boil water notice and noted people can still shower and still wash hands.

10:07 a.m. — Update from Williamson County

A Williamson County judge has issued a disaster declaration for the area because of “severe weather, flash flooding, and potable water outages.”

The emergency operations center in the county has been activated and will stay that way until the boil water notice affecting those who get water from Austin Water is lifted. The county estimates 80,000 people in its boundaries are under the boil water notice, and 25 schools in Leander ISD and Round Rock ISD is affected.

The state of disaster is set to last seven days unless continued.

10:03 a.m. — Update from LCRA and Austin Fire Department

All floodgates at Buchanan Dam are closed, while floodgate operations are still going on at Inks, Wirtz, Starcke, Mansfield and Tom Miller dams. The Lower Colorado River Authority expects to close floodgates at Wirtz and Starcke later this week, and it doesn’t believe it will have to open more floodgates on Mansfield Dam at this time.

The Highland Lakes are still closed to boaters at this time. Austin Fire Department also extended its waterways ban until Monday.

9:25 a.m. — Update from Travis County WCID 10

Just like the City of Austin, Travis County WCID 10 is urging people to conserve water. It receives its water from the city and is reporting Austin is trying to resolve a low-pressure issue.

“You are requested to immediately reduce your normal water use by 20%,” it wrote, asking people to have shorter or fewer showers, and hold off on running the dishwasher or washer.

Mandatory stage 4 water restrictions are also in effect for Water District 10, which prohibits all outdoor watering:

  • Water use for irrigation, or testing irrigation equipment
  • Washing vehicles, including at a commercial car wash facility
  • Washing pavement or other surfaces
  • Adding water to a pool or spa
  • Conduct foundation watering, or
  • Operate an ornamental fountain or pond, other than aeration necessary to support aquatic life
  • Any other use not necessary for the protection of public health and safety.

7:45 a.m. — Update from AISD

Classes will resume as normal, but the Austin Independent School District is asking families to send students with water. Below are precautions the district took yesterday that will continue today, per its website:

  • Campuses will continue to accept donations of sealed, bottled water.
  • Drinking fountains were covered or closed to prevent use by staff or students.
  • Campus staff provided boiled and bottled water to any students in need.
  • Cafeteria menus were adjusted to include hot vegetables, canned fruit and fresh fruits with peels such as orange and bananas.
  • No salad bars were available, but baby carrots and precut celery are safe and will continue to be served.
  • All water used for cooking, washing produce, washing hands and making ice is being brought to a vigorous boil before use.
  • Kitchen staff are working to conserve as much water as possible.

6:43 a.m. — Morning update on the water situation

5:18 a.m. Tuesday — Water at grocery stores

The Hancock H-E-B reports it has water, and another trailer full of water should reach the store by 6 a.m. Another one is planned later in the day.

The Walmart on Ben White Boulevard is sold out of water but expecting another delivery. The Sunset Valley Walmart is sold out of water as well.

10:55 p.m. Monday — Update from the City of Austin

The City of Austin said in an evening press release, all residents are asked to reduce their personal consumption by 15-20 percent. They state that all outdoor water use in the city of Austin is prohibited.

According to the press release, violations of the water restrictions should be reported to Austin 311.

8:53 p.m. — Update from Austin Water PIO 

According to Austin Water, the city’s water levels are reaching a critical stage, and if people keep using water at the rate they have been, the water supply could run out.

7:15 p.m. — Update from Eanes ISD

Eanes ISD said in an evening statement that it has the necessary resources to stay open with the boil water notice in place. If their situation changes later in the week, the district will send out an update.

4:49 p.m. — Update from AISD

Austin Independent School District says, as of now, school is still scheduled as normal for Tuesday. An update will be sent out if that changes, the district said.

Water was delivered to campuses and school staff supplied any student in need with water. Campuses also accepted donations of bottled water.

4:30 p.m. — CDC recommendations

The Centers for Disease Control has a list of recommendations when a boil water notice is in effect, including instructions for cooking food, disinfecting water and how long to boil water for (3 minutes).

Even if using a water filter, it is still important to boil. According to the CDC, most household water filters do not remove bacteria or viruses.

Read the full list of recommendations here.

1:45 p.m. — Red Cross warns about sanitizer

The Central Texas Red Cross warned those relying on hand sanitizer during the boil water notice that while it kills salmonella and e.coli, sanitizer will not kill cryptosporidiosis, a diarrheal disease caused by parasites.

The Red Cross recommends vigorous hand washing with soap instead of hand sanitizer.

1:35 p.m. — Starbucks only selling packaged items

A Starbucks spokesperson says stores in the Austin-area will remain open but are no longer serving handcrafted beverages during the boil water notice. The stores will only sell bottled and packaged goods for now.

1:18 p.m. — AISD middle school sports canceled Monday

All Austin Independent School District middle school athletics have been canceled for Monday night due to the boil water situation. Other after-school activities will continue as scheduled, the district said.

AISD is urging parents to send their children to school with enough water for the day. Cafeteria operations have also been affected. Schools have closed their salad bars and are using canned fruit instead of fresh fruit. 

1:11 p.m. — Animal shelters in need of help

Austin Animal Shelter, Austin Pets Alive! and the Austin Humane Society say they have urgent requests for help in getting water to the animals in their care.

Visit this story for information on how to donate clean water, your time or make a monetary donation to offset the cost of buying water.

1:04 p.m. — Emergency water use restrictions issued

The city of Austin says there is an urgent need to reduce the demand on the city’s water supply to allow treatment plant operations to stabilize.

Until further notice, all outdoor water use is prohibited.

Violations should be reported to Austin 3-1-1. The city says the emergency restrictions are necessary to ensure water is available for firefighting and basic needs. 

12:51 p.m. — Video: What we know about the boil water notice

11:58 a.m. — Water on the way to Randalls and H-E-B stores

Randalls Food Markets says it has called in all resources to get water to its stores in Austin as soon as possible. Trucks are on their way from the company’s Fort Worth distribution center as well as from all vendor sources available.

H-E-B said it has more than 100 trailers of water heading to its Austin stores Monday. 

11:54 a.m. Monday — Delays to elective surgeries

St. David’s HealthCare has decided to delay elective surgeries out of an abundance of caution until the network of hospitals can better understand the availability of additional water. St. David’s also said they are looking at potential solutions for water use as part of patient care.

All hospital-based elective surgeries are expected to resume as normal Monday afternoon, while elective surgeries at St. David’s surgery centers are expected to resume Tuesday.

“We are working with regional suppliers to provide additional water for our patients, staff and hospital operations, and we will continue to collaborate with local officials and national experts to ensure patient comfort and safety,” said Dr. Kenneth W. Mitchell, the chief medical officer of St. David’s HealthCare.

Seton Healthcare Family said hospital procedures and patient care continue with minimal disruption. Elective surgeries at Dell Children’s are continuing on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of doctors.

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