Editor's note: This post was updated Feb. 6 to add water distribution sites that opened Feb. 6 and new information about the boil water notice.

Updated Feb. 6 at 8:10 p.m.

The Austin Water plant issue that led to a citywide boil water notice was the result of personnel "failing to follow required protocols and warnings," according to Mayor Pro Tem Alison Alter.

"I can assure you that my colleagues and I on the City Council will get more details and take appropriate action beginning this week," Alter said in an email late Feb. 6.

She also reported the Ullrich Water Treatment Plant where the error occurred is now fully operational again. The error caused high turbidity—a measure of cloudiness in the water caused by sediment and other compounds—according to previous Community Impact Newspaper reporting.

With the treatment plant in full operation as of Feb. 6, the city could lift the boil water notice in about 48 hours because of sampling and testings that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality requires.

"I have spent the day following up with all the appropriate city officials," Alter said in the email. "I will continue to do this and I will share detailed information with you. My priority is to restore normal water service and then make sure this does not happen again."

The village of San Leanna located near far South Austin also reported Feb. 6 it is under a boil water notice advisory. The village receives supplemental water from Austin Water, according to a village release.

Original post Feb. 5

The citywide boil water notice for Austin Water customers could be lifted sometime Feb. 8, according Mayor Pro Tem Alison Alter, who reported the information Feb. 6 to residents via email.

"I just communicated with Austin Water. Their most current estimate is that normal water service will be restored by sometime Tuesday, [Feb. 8], hopefully sooner," she said in the email. "... I also have communicated your frustrations to the leadership of Austin Water and emphasized the need to get water service restored as soon as possible."

The notice went into effect 7:30 p.m. Feb. 5 due to an issue at the Ullrich Water Treatment Plant. Crews are working to fix an internal treatment process issue from high turbidity at the plant, which is now out of service. The plant is located at 1000 Forest View Drive, Austin near West Lake Hills.

"We all need to do our part when something like this happens, and we will. We can also be frustrated, as I am, that there's yet another situation to deal with," Mayor Steve Adler said in a statement. "We can be thankful, too, that the situation was noticed quickly and steps taken—any public health risk is very, very small, and we're much better prepared right now with equipment and supplies as we open water distribution stations. It appears this will be over in a couple of days, and the city will keep everyone informed along the way. Please help your neighbors."

To maintain water service, Austin Water is increasing its production at the Davis and Handcox water treatment plants. Officials said no power disruptions have occurred at the drinking water plants.

Under the boil water notice, residents should boil all water vigorously for two minutes before drinking or cooking with it as well as limit indoor water usage.

Four water distribution sites opened Feb. 6 to help those without means of accessing water during the boil notice. Most of the sites are located in communities with the highest level of need and food insecurity, according to a news release from the city's Homeland Security and Emergency Management department. The four sites for Austin Water Customers are:

  • Travis County Expo Center, 7311 Decker Lane, Austin

    • Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

  • Austin Water Glen Bell Service Center, 3907 S. Industrial Drive, Austin

    • Hours: Open 24 hours

    • Customers must bring their own empty water containers.

  • Austin Water North Service Center

    • 901 W Koenig Lane, Austin

    • Hours: Open 24 hours

    • Customers must bring their own empty water containers.

  • Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex, 10211 W. Parmer Lane, Austin

    • Hours: Noon-8 p.m. (starting Feb. 7)

    • Customers are limited to two cases per vehicle.

The city will open more sites as additional water for residents becomes available and encourages those who are able to purchase water to do so. Williamson County also partnered with the city to open the water distribution site on Parmer Lane.

“We care about the residents [who] are in the city of Austin, and we have these resources available, so we want to take care of our residents, Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said in a news release.

Alter shared information about the boil notice and the city's active emergency information webpage on her Facebook and Twitter pages as well as via email.

“I recognize this is not the news that any of us wanted to hear and I am sorry that this step is necessary,” Alter said in the email. “The immediate concern is to spread the word on the need to boil water and to act accordingly. In the coming days, we will investigate what led to this situation and take appropriate actions.”

Additional mandatory water restrictions are also in place, and all outdoor water use is prohibited. According to Austin Water, residents may not:

  • Use water for irrigation or testing of irrigation equipment

  • Wash vehicles, including at commercial car wash facilities

  • Wash pavement or other surfaces

  • Add water to a pool or spa

  • Conduct foundation watering

  • Operate an ornamental fountain or pond, other than aeration necessary to support aquatic life

Residents may visit www.austintexas.gov/alerts for more information.