Dirty water tests limits of Austin’s water utility

Oct 26, 2018

Overwhelming amounts of silt and debris flowing into Lake Travis and Lady Bird Lake after historic floods in the Hill Country last week tested Austin Water’s ability to guarantee both water quality and pressure for firefighting, ultimately leading the city on Monday to call for water restrictions that grew more imperative as the day went on.

In the end, city officials had to weigh both needs, and fighting fires won out. Early Monday, Austin Water — the city-owned utility that services residents in Austin, Rollingwood, Sunset Valley and West Lake Hills — issued a boil water notice on the belief that the opaque brown water being treated at the city’s three water treatment plants would no longer meet federal standards.

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