Flooding prompts boil-water notice for Austin after supply lakes filled with silt

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The City of Austin says the high level of debris, silt and mud from flooding requires extended filtration. (KTRK)

Residents of the Texas state capital are being ordered to boil their tap water before drinking after flooding in recent weeks filled the lakes that feed their supply with silt, mud and debris.

The city of Austin said in a statement Monday that the water needs extended filtration and treatment before it will be safe to consume. There is no indication of bacterial infiltration.


Austin Water's more than 1 million customers have been told to boil water intended for drinking, cooking and making ice, and avoid drinking fountains.

The boil-water notice prompted a rush on bottled water at grocery stores such as H-E-B, where shelves were emptied of supplies.

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The boil-water notice also means the city's school districts are being affected.

Austin ISD posted on Facebook that the drinking fountains will be closed or covered so students don't use them. School menus have also been adjusted.

The district advised parents to send their students to school with their own drinking water or other beverages such as juice and sports drinks.


The school will supply students in need with water. Campuses are also accepting bottled water donations.



The University of Texas at Austin is also advising students not to drink the water from any of the sinks or water fountains.



The City says the water is safe for hand washing.

Mayor Stever Adler says that "the unprecedented rain and runoff through our entire lake system has simply overwhelmed our treatment capacity."

SEE MORE: Llano River bridge destroyed by rushing floodwater

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A dangerous night of flooding is ahead for storm-battered communities in Central Texas.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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