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Austin’s Boil Water Notice Ends

Restaurants no longer have to boil water for drinking, cooking, making ice, or washing ingredients 

Two fruits in a sink being washed in water from a faucet.
Clean water is back in Austin.
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

After three days, Austin has ended its water boil notice as of the late evening of Tuesday, February 8 at around 10:22 p.m.

Before using water, restaurants should run cold and hot water lines (including those that feed into ice, coffee, and other such machines) and drinking fountains for two minutes, as required by Austin Public Health. Any appliances that use tap water should be flushed, cleaned, and sanitized before use, such as coffee/tea/drink dispensers and dishwashers; one batch of new ice should be made using machines and then discarded; and water softeners should go through one regeneration cycle.

People at home should run all faucets with cold water for one minute, make and throw out three batches of ice, and run all water softeners through a regeneration cycle.

The boil water notice was enacted because of mistakes at the Ulrich Water Treatment Plant, as reported by Statesmen, on Saturday, February 5. While the actual notice was issued in the evening, Austin Water was aware of the issues earlier that morning. It turns out it took the city 12 hours to inform the public.

This current incident is the third time the city has had to issue water boil notices ever, and all in the past four years. The first happened in 2018 because the water was contaminated from a heavy rainstorm; the second was during the Texas Winter Storm a year ago in February 2021, due to a power outage at the water treatment plant.