City leaders hoping boil water notice could end ‘by the weekend'

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The bottom line is the City of Austin is optimistic.

They say the situation at the treatment plants is getting better because Austinites have been reducing their usage and they’re hoping the historic boil water notice will end by the weekend.

Austin Water Director Greg Meszaros says water demand was down today which was good but Wednesday’s and Thursday’s are the biggest water usage days so they’re telling people to keep doing what they’re doing.

Meszaros and City Manager Spencer Cronk did emphasize this water boil notice is precautionary but on the other hand they can’t confirm the water that’s coming out of your tap is safe to drink so that’s why you’ve got to boil or use bottled water. As for when this will end, Meszaros says they’ve got to recharge the system. They’re now refilling reservoirs instead of depleting them. And they’ve got to make sure they’re treating water adequately.  

“We’ve been doing bacteriological testing all along, we do it every day no matter what and we haven’t seen any problems. We’ll probably intensify that and work with TCEQ and hopefully again all that comes together and we’ll be pulling out of this within a reasonable amount of town hopefully as the Mayor suggested by this weekend,” Meszaros said.

Meszaros pointed out more rain could affect that timeline. This morning Travis County said they were preparing for 10-14 days. That difference in timeline was addressed this afternoon.

“If you tell an emergency manager to plan a 5 day trip they will pack a bag for 10 days, it’s just the way they are wired. We have every confidence in the projections of the Austin Water utility for the duration of this event,” said Travis County Executive for Emergency Services, Chuck Brotherton.