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Austin, Texas issues precautionary citywide boil water notice

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(AUSTIN, Texas) — All residents and businesses of Texas’ capital city are still being advised to boil tap water before consuming it after a staff error caused the temporary shutdown of the city’s largest treatment plant.

The precautionary citywide boil notice was issued Saturday by the utility Austin Waters due to high turbidity, or cloudiness, detected in the water at its Ullrich Water Treatment Plant.

“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,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler said in a statement.

The boil notice will be over once water samples show no quality issues and The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality lifts the notice. Sampling began Monday and it takes 24 hours to receive the results, according to Austin Water.

“We can be thankful, too, that the situation was noticed quickly and steps taken, any public health risk is very, very small, and we’re much better prepared right now with equipment and supplies as we open water distribution stations. It appears this will be over in a couple of days, and the city will keep everyone informed along the way,” Adler said.

Turbidity, according to Austin Water, can create an area where disease-causing organisms can live; the symptoms of which can include nausea, diarrhea and headaches.

“These symptoms can be particularly severe in people who are not as resistant to infections as most of the population,” the utility said in a release.

If you experience symptoms, the city said you should consult your doctor.

Austin Water Director Greg Meszaros said the turbidity spike was low and that no water contamination was reported, according to ABC News Austin affiliate KVUE-TV.

“We have no indication that there’s a contamination,” Meszaros said Saturday at a press conference. “This was a very short-term event, internal process water, very low risk, but regulations are regulations and we have to do this boil water notice.”

Water distribution sites are available at various sites throughout the city, including at the Glen Bell Service Center and North Service Center. Customers must bring an empty water container.

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