Austin Water Utility lifts first ever citywide boil water notice after six days


Juan Diaz

Students no longer need to hoard cases of bottled water.

After nearly a week of the Autin’s first ever citywide boil water notice, the City of Austin Water Utility has lifted the advisory as of Sunday, Oct. 28.

“Water has continued to circulate in the distribution system during the boil-water notice,” according to the water utility website. “Water used for laundry, showering, or boiling for consumption has created enough flushing effect for most homes. There should be no need to flush water from hot water heaters, irrigation systems, showers, clothes washing machines or outdoor faucets.”

Austin Water Utility worked closely with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and followed federal and state laws for repealing the boil water notice. Laboratory test results show that the water no longer requires boiling. This also includes meeting adequate water pressure requirements in the distribution system.

Austin residents do not need to boil water used for drinking, cooking and making ice anymore. Furthermore, It is also not necessary to flush the pipes in your home because city officials say water has continued to circulate in the distribution system while the notice was in effect.

“There was a lot of grey area between what we could and couldn’t use the water for,” said sophomore Alek Nybro. “I definitely am glad that it’s [the boil water notice] lifted because now I can use the dishwasher and actually cook in my apartment.”

While the notice has technically been lifted, there are still water-use restrictions in place due to  water treatment plants being unable to produce as much water as they normally can. In the meantime the water utility is banning outdoor irrigation, operating fountains and washing cars until further notice.

“Operations are not quite back to normal,” Austin Water stated. “While water production has recovered significantly, water treatment plants are not producing as much water as they can under typical conditions. While we are working to restore the full capacity, keeping water use down will help ensure the system can meet customer demands.”

The City of Austin recommends discarding at least one quart of water from your refrigerator water dispenser before drinking. Additionally, automatic ice makers should be emptied of any ice that was created during the boil water order.

St. Edward’s recently sent out a mass email explaining the importance of creating a large enough storage for maintaining  viable water sources.

“Please continue to do what you can to help conserve water for the foreseeable future,” the email stated. “Specifically, we would encourage you to please use any remaining boiled or bottled water you have to help ease the strain on the municipal water system.”

The university plans to have all the “Water Monster,” water sources picked up by the vendor on Tuesday, October 30, 2018.  This is also the day that Residence Halls will stop providing free bottled water.