Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect there is not a boil water notice in effect for Travis County WCID 17. WCID 17 has not issued any boil water notices or water quality alerts as a result of the recent weather events. We apologize for the error.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Boil water notices have been issued for multiple areas in Hays County, an additional area of Travis County and part of Elgin in Bastrop County.
Boil water notices have also been issued for Travis County Water District 10 and the City of Lexington.
Many, if not all, of the local boil water notices were caused by a loss of power at treatment plants and/or pumping stations, which caused low water pressure in these systems. Low pressure can lead to contamination of the water. To prevent illness from the possible contamination, Texas law requires water utilities to issue boil water notices whenever pressure drops below a certain threshold.
These notices will remain active until:
- Electricity is restored to facilities,
- Water pressure is restored, and,
- Samples of the water are tested, which typically takes 24 hours.
The notices advise residents in the affected areas to boil all water for two minutes prior to drinking or using to prepare food to ensure the water is sterilized.
Hays County and West Travis County
The areas of Hays County under the notice include Hays County Water Water Control and Improvement Districts (WCID) 1 and 2, as well as the Reunion Ranch WCID.
In Travis County, the Senna Hills Municipal Utility District (MUD) is under a boil water notice. That area is on Senna Hills Drive off Bee Caves Road.
The WCIDs for the Hays County locations and Senna Hills MUD are operated by the water infrastructure operations company Inframark, which issued a statement that said the notices are a precautionary measure after the West Travis County Public Utility Agency’s Uplands water treatment plant lost power.
“When pressures have been restored and all required sampling has been completed we will rescind the boil water notice,” said Inframark compliance manager Vanessa Chapa in an email.
The West Travis County PUA says that power has since been restored to the plant, but the utility said on its website that it will be several hours before the tanks are refilled.
Travis County WCID 18 also issued a boil water notice on Friday, noting that it depleted its reserve water tanks in order to keep water available during the ice storm. Similar to the others, a loss of power prevented it from replenishing those tanks.
The district’s notice states that many residents in WCID 18 either have low pressure or no water.
“Water service has been interrupted to everyone in the District,” WCID 18’s notice reads, “We will not be able to restore service until Austin Energy restores power to us. When water service is restored, the entire District will be put on a boil water notice.”
In Bastrop County, the City of Elgin issued a notice for the Elgin Oaks subdivision and nearby streets on the same distribution system. These streets include Lacy Drive, Shady Drive, Shady Cove, Pumpstation Road, Sandy Lane, Markert Drive and Little Sandy Drive.
According to Elgin’s notice, power outages at the city’s water treatment plant on Thursday prevented the city from producing enough water to fill elevated storage tanks.