Austin Water releases details of internal investigation into February’s boil water notice

Austin Water has released a memo detailing the results of an internal investigation into the events leading up to February’s citywide boil water notice.

"This in-depth investigatory process has confirmed our preliminary findings that there were failures in staff’s response to deteriorating plant conditions and communications up the chain of command," said Austin Water Director Greg Meszaros. "This is unacceptable, and Austin Water managers are taking steps to ensure that it does not happen again."

The report confirms initial findings that showed the cause of the boil water notice stemmed from high turbidity water flowing out of a basin and overloading filters at the Ullrich Water Treatment Plant. Furthermore, staff members on duty did not appropriately respond to warning signs or notify the chain of command, according to the memo.

Since February’s events, Austin Water has completed improvements in remote monitoring, timer-based seeing processes and enhanced shift turnover communications. The memo stated Austin Water will continue to work toward improved operational procedures, training and guidelines.

Meszaros announced his resignation in February. John Goode will step in as interim director starting April 11.

Austin Water representatives will brief the Austin Water Oversight Committee on the findings in the report on Thursday, March 31.

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