Austin Water has issued a boil water notice for all of its customers. Austin Water says they do not expect water issues to "last beyond a handful of days." At a county briefing earlier Tuesday, the chief emergency management coordinator had said the notice could last 10 to 14 days.
The utility issued the notice just before 3 a.m. Monday. It's asking all customers to boil water used for drinking, cooking or ice. Officials held a press conference at 6 a.m. Monday to discuss the notice.
Austin Water is asking the entire city to do this until further notice. It says the historic flood waters flowing into the Highland Lakes, which is where the city's water supply comes from, contains much higher levels of debris, silt and mud. As a result, officials say it's making it very challenging for the water plants to produce the volume of water needed to supply the entire city.
Customers are asked to reduce using water as much as possible to ensure there's enough for basic needs like fire protection, public health and safety.
Boiled water is only for consumption. It protects people of any harmful bacteria and other germs.
Businesses are asked not to use drinking fountains or soda fountains that rely on tap water.
The City of Austin says there have been no positive tests for bacteria in the water system at this time.
The city advises people to bring water to a rolling boil for at least three minutes and to let it cool before using. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, ice making, brushing teeth, washing dishes, preparing food and for their pet's water.
The boil water notice will be lifted once Austin Water makes sure it's safe.
For more information you can go the Austin Water's website.