AUSTIN, Texas – For the second time in two years, around 1 million people in the city of Austin were encouraged to boil their water and limit consumption following failures at a major water treatment facility.
The city-wide alert was issued on Saturday evening when "high turbidity" was observed at Austin Water’s Ullrich Water Treatment Plant.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) defines turbidity as the measure of how clear the water is.
A high turbidity level means there are a lot of particles suspended in the water.
Many residents turned to social media to express their frustrations with the announcement, a sentiment also expressed by the city’s mayor.
"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.
A representative of Austin Water said the operational issues did not appear to be connected to the impacts from the recent winter storm.
In February 2021, a winter storm caused numerous issues for the Lone Star State and forced Austin officials to issue a boil water notice that lasted nearly a week.
The cause of the most recent failures was not released during a Saturday evening news conference.
Officials expect the advisory to last several days and a ramping up bottled water distribution sites for residents.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises anyone who must drink tap water, while under a boil water advisory, to make sure the water comes to a full rolling boil for at least one mintue before consumption.