AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Water confirmed the city is not under a boil water notice, quashing rumors flying mid-morning that one was imminent.
A number of people reached out to KXAN as well as city council members, asking about texts going around warning of an impending boil water notice.
Austin City Council Member Chito Vela, who represents District 4, wrote on Twitter his office reached out to Austin Water and “they report relatively normal operations. No boil water notice has been issued or is expected to be issued.”
KXAN also reached out to Austin Water for more details about current operations. It tweeted at 12:36 p.m. “We’ve heard there are rumors flying that Austin Water plans to shut off water. That is not correct. Austin Water’s treatment plants are currently operating at normal levels & meeting the community’s water demands.”
The incorrect message that has gone around says “From a friend who works for City of Austin – the city is likely to lose water by noon (power outages affecting water treatment plants). Recommends filling a now (sic) bathtub if able. In any case, get ready to boil!” The typo in that text was repeated in at least two examples sent to KXAN.
Austin Water said there are intermittent power outages in Southwest Austin but that its crews have been able to “keep backup power generation flowing to several pump stations/lift stations.” It also delivered water to a “small pocket of 15 homes” in that area.
“We encourage all of our customers to consider cutting back on water usage. This will help ease demand on the system while we work through intermittent power outages,” Austin Water tweeted.
On Wednesday, Travis County Water District 10 announced a boil water notice for its customers after an outage at a pump station.
History of boil water notices in Austin
February 2022 was the last time Austinites had to boil water, also in the wake of a winter storm but not because of it. It lasted three days and was caused by operator error, and led to an audit of Austin Water.
A boil water notice that lasted almost a week was in place following the February 2021 winter storm. It was caused after the city’s largest water treatment plant lost electricity, combined with a huge increase in water use as pipes burst.
Austin’s first-ever boil water notice was in October 2018, after heavy rains caused flooding that clogged up the city’s water treatment plants.
All three boil water notices involved issues related to the Ullrich Water Treatment plant.