The city of Austin has been under a boil water advisory since the evening of Saturday, February 5.
For restaurants, food trucks and bars, this means that all water intended for cooking, washing vegetables and meat, creating beverages, making ice cream and general drinking must be brought to boil for two minutes before use or consumption. Hot unboiled water can be used for washing dishes, but dishes should be rinsed with boiled/clean water. Dishwashers or specific disinfection cycles can also be used at high temperatures. The city’s website notes that washing hands with tap water is acceptable.
Likewise, the water cannot be used for irrigation, washing vehicles, cleaning sidewalks, fountains, or filling swimming pools or spas at this time.
This boil water advisory is called “preventive” due to issues with what the city describes as “an internal process issue” at the Ullrich sewage treatment plant. Exactly what that means isn’t clear at this time, or whether it’s related to the current overnight frosts from Winter Storm Landon, which brought the city to a standstill on Thursday as businesses closed for safety reasons.
The last time the city was on a boil water advisory was during the 2021 Texas Winter Storm (aka Winter Storm Uri) due to issues at the same plant. water, which lasted about six days.