The City of Austin is under a boil water notice, as of the evening of Saturday, February 5.
For restaurants, food trucks, and bars, this means that any water intended for cooking, washing vegetables and meats, creating drinks, making ice, and general drinking must be brought to a rolling boil for two minutes before use or consumption. Unboiled hot water can be used to wash dishes, but dishes should be rinsed with boiled/clean water. Dishwashers or specific sanitizing cycles can also be used at high temperatures. The city site notes that washing hands with tap water is okay.
Likewise, water cannot be used for irrigation, washing vehicles, cleaning sidewalks, fountains, or filling out pools or spas at this time.
This water boil notice is being dubbed as a “precautionary” one because of issues with what the city describes as “an internal process issue” at the Ullrich Water Treatment Plant. What that means exactly isn’t clear at this time, nor if it’s related to the current evening freezes from Winter Storm Landon, which brought the city to a standstill on Thursday as businesses closed out of safety concerns.
Austin Water predicts that the boil notice will be lifted at the end of the day on Tuesday, February 8 if water samples are clean.
The last time the city was under a boil water notice was during the Texas Winter Storm of 2021 (aka Winter Storm Uri) due to issues at the same water plant, which lasted for about six days.
Update, Monday, February 7, 10:01 a.m.: This article, originally published on Saturday, February 5, at 9:11 p.m., has been updated to include an estimated end date of the notice.