AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk announced the city’s new water director.

Shay Ralls Roalson was appointed to the position and is the first woman to serve in the role. The appointment is effective Jan. 1.

This comes after former director Greg Meszaros resigned earlier this year amid questions regarding a several-days-long boil water notice due to an “internal treatment process issue” at the Ulrich Water Treatment Plant.

Roalson was selected from a group of 55 applicants.

She has 29 years of experience working with water utilities on the planning, design and construction of complex water and wastewater infrastructure projects. 

Roalson’s background includes experience with the department. She was named the assistant director of water in April 2020. Prior to joining Austin Water, Roalson was the CTX Water Business Group Manager at HDR Engineering, Inc, where she consulted with utilities such as Austin Water, City of Lago Vista, San Antonio Water System and Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority.

Austin Water provides water, wastewater, reclaimed water, conservation and environmental protection services to over 1 million residential customers spanning more than 540 square miles of service area.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to be the City of Austin’s next Austin Water Director,” said Roalson. “I look forward to creating opportunities to support and empower employees of the department while continuing to build trust in the community in order to provide exceptional water utility services to the residents of Austin.”