UPDATE: Boil advisory tests city of Austin's bottled water supply

Austin-area H-E-Bs were cleaned out of their bottled water supply early Monday morning.

Austin-area H-E-Bs were cleaned out of their bottled water supply early Monday morning.

Image description
IMG_1143
Update 2:30 p.m.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport has turned off its water fountains, and some concessions are only serving prepackaged food and beverages while the boil advisory is still in effect, according to the airport's Twitter account.

Update 2:20 p.m.

Local health care network Seton—under which Travis County sites Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas, Seton Medical Center Austin, Dell Children's Medical Center, Seton Shoal Creek, Seton Northwest, Seton Southwest and Seton Administrative Offices operate—said in an statement Monday afternoon that its care continues with minimal disruption despite the boil water notice.

Thousands of gallons of bottled water have been distributed across its patient care site for consumption and will continue to be distributed as needed. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is being used for hand hygiene. Bottled or boiled water is being used in cafeterias.

The sterilization process is being monitored according to strict guidelines based on industry standards, per the statement, and elective surgeries continue on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of physicians.

In addition to Austin Pets Alive, the Austin Humane Society also issued an urgent call for water bottle donations on Monday.

According to an Austin Humane Society press release, the nonprofit will need at least 50 gallons of water each day to keep all of the animals in its care hydrated and healthy.

Original post 

Following the city of Austin's announcement early Monday morning of a boil water advisory, local residents, businesses and nonprofits are struggling to access clean water.

The advisory is a result of historic flooding last week, which overwhelmed Austin Water's filtering system.

While safe for showers, laundry and other household uses, any water for consumption should be boiled for three minutes before being used.

Many H-E-B stores have been emptied of their bottled water supplies following the advisory announcement.

"Once we were notified of the boil notice, we began sending additional trailers full of water and will continue to as needed," a company spokesperson said via email.

The San Antonio Water System also announced Monday morning that it had dispatched a 5,000-gallon water tanker to Austin to help residents deal with the advisory.

Austin ISD and Austin Community College District campuses remain open but are taking precautions to ensure student safety.

At AISD, drinking fountains are being covered or closed, cafeteria managers are following boiling instructions and menus have been adjusted to provide fruit and vegetable alternatives to the salad bar, which will not be open today.

Due to the advisory, some local businesses have temporarily closed, including South Austin's Bouldin Creek Cafe, both locations of Magnolia Cafe, and Jack Allen's Kitchen in North Austin, citing a lack of clean water for cooking and serving.

Austin Pets Alive posted an "urgent" request for bottled water on its Facebook page Monday morning.

"We are asking for your support today by bringing any bottled water (or water from outside Austin city limits) to the shelter. We're hearing reports that H-E-Bs have already started seeing a serious depletion in their stocks of bottled water. We have placed an order for bottled water from Amazon, but the reality is that it likely won't be enough to meet our needs and it won't be delivered immediately," the nonprofit wrote. 

The city of Austin's website is down following the announcement. A spokesperson said updates can be found on the city's Twitter account in the meantime.
By Emma Freer
Emma Freer began covering Central Austin for Community Impact Newspaper in 2017. Her beat includes the Travis County Commissioners Court and local business news. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School in 2017.


MOST RECENT

Photo of new construction in process
South Austin developer sues city in ongoing saga to improve permitting process

An Austin developer alleged the city circumvented a state law that requires permitting to take place within 30 days.

Photo of boarded-up Sixth Street bars
With COVID-19 projections 'bleak' through Thanksgiving, Travis County keeps bars closed

Statistical models from the University of Texas show a 92% chance the pandemic is worsening, but the increase in cases and hospitalizations have leveled off in the last few days.

Movemint Bike Cab owner David Knipp said the loss of the South by Southwest Conference and Festivals during the spring festival season led to a 50% decline in revenue.  (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
'I just need to pay the rent:' Austin small businesses in survival mode are doing everything in their power to outlast the pandemic

From selling inventory to flipping their business models to changing a yoga studio into a coworking space, small business owners are trying to avoid adding their names to the growing list of locally owned Austin institutions that have shut down.

Customers can order Goodstock Angus and Goodstock Black Label beef, including ribeye steaks, strip steaks, filets and ground chuck. (Courtesy Nolan Ryan brands)
Nolan Ryan expands Round Rock-based butcher business and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Austin area.

Burnet Road at West Braker Lane
Corridor projects along South Lamar Boulevard, Burnet Road will break ground by early 2021

Two corridor roadway projects approved in the city of Austin’s 2016 Mobility Bond are moving forward after recently receiving environmental clearances.

The Austin School of Fashion Design, or ASFD, relocated from North Austin to Georgetown in October. (Courtesy The Austin School of Fashion Design)
Austin School of Fashion Design moves to Georgetown

The school was previously located in Austin.

An "I Voted" sticker is left outside the Northwest Recreation Center in Austin, one of 37 early voting polling places open in Travis County. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
More than half of all Travis County voters have cast their ballots, exceeding early voting turnout percentage in 2016

More than 448,000 votes have been cast in Travis County. Early voting closes on Oct. 30.

Austin ISD trustees met Oct. 26, discussing in-person learning during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy Austin ISD)
Twice as many Austin elementary students have returned to campus compared to first day of in-person instruction, district says

Austin ISD will open its campuses to accommodate all students who request in-person instruction beginning Nov. 2.

Capital Metro released new renderings Oct. 26 of its proposed Project Connect expansion, which voters will decide Nov. 3. This rendering shows a Blue Line light rail train at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. (Rendering courtesy Capital Metro)
In final week of early voting, here is what Austin residents should know about Project Connect

The proposition appears as a 237-word block of text near the end of the ballot but boils down to a simple question: Are voters for or against a significant expansion of local public transportation, paid for in part with property tax funds?

East West Manufacturing will retain 30 jobs and create an additional 30 new jobs for a total of 60 full-time jobs in Round Rock over five years, according to an economic incentive agreement signed Oct. 22. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Round Rock to add 60 jobs and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

Gati, a new coconut milk ice cream shop run by Thai Fresh owner Jam Santichat, is now open in East Austin. (Courtesy Jam Santichat)
New Hopdoddy location, coconut milk ice cream and more East Austin business news

Several new businesses have opened in or are on their way to Central-East Austin.

Austin FC logo
Austin FC partners with Special Olympics Texas to field MLS Unified team

As Major League Soccer franchise Austin FC starts play in its upcoming season, the team will help to field a squad made up of Special Olympics Texas athletes for a series of matches.