In the event you are issued a Boil Water Notice:
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is the State agency responsible for the regulation of public water supplies in Texas. They have the authority to require water systems to issue a Boil Water Notice (BWN) under certain conditions. These conditions are:
- Water quality that does not meet TCEQ regulations;
- Failure to keep adequate records of water quality; or
- Loss of pressure for extended periods of time in the piping system, which delivers water to your location.
It is important to understand that a BWN is issued as a precaution to alert our water customers of the possibility of unsafe water and is issued with your welfare in mind.
How might I be notified of or find out about a Boil Water Notice in my area?
Boil Water Notices are highly localized incidences. For example, if the City of Austin issues a BWN, it does not mean that it is in effect in our area. We make every attempt to notify our customers if we are under a BWN through the following methods:
- E-mail sent out to customers
- Voice Recorded Message sent out to customers
- Voice Recording on our main office answering service
- LMUD Personnel informed to answer individual inquiries
- Publication by local media outlets or City e-blasts, when available
The same methods are used to notify customers of the end of a BWN.
Preventative Measures by LMUD
Lakeway Municipal Utility District’s (LMUD) water quality monitoring and record keeping systems are redundant systems that guard against the first two of the three conditions instated by TCEQ and therefore it is very unlikely that the first two conditions will occur, however still possible. The third condition is more common, such as when we are performing scheduled maintenance to replace piping and or equipment and create the possibility of contaminants getting into our supply.
The third condition for a BWN may also be met if our water tanks loose adequate pressure. Our water storage tanks normally maintain water levels that will ensure adequate pressure throughout the system, unfortunately, it is possible for these tanks to occasionally drop to low levels or even drain completely when there are problems such as large water main leaks, pump failures, lightning storms, etc. Normally, when these things happen, an LMUD employee is able to correct the problem before system pressure is lost, but occasionally there is a loss of pressure in the system, requiring us to issue at BWN.
When a BWN is issued, we gather samples immediately from the affected area and take them to the Texas Department of State Health Services laboratory for analysis. This test typically takes twenty-four hours to complete and must be started during normal working hours. As soon as we get the results, we notify affected customers that the water has been found safe to drink.
LMUD strives to provide safe water at adequate pressures at all times, however, occasionally, problems can occur.
What to do in the event of a Boil Water Notice
If you are made aware that you are under a Boil Water Notice, any tap water that may be consumed (for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing raw foods, providing water for pets, etc.) should be boiled for two minutes after a vigorous, rolling boil is achieved to ensure it is free from bacteriological contaminants then cool before using. Throw out any water from the BWN period that may be stored (ice, drinks made with tap water, baby formula, etc.). In lieu of boiling, you may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source. Water for baths/showers, washing dishes, laundry, etc. may continue to be used without boiling. Only in the event of a “Do Not Use” Notice should tap water be avoided for all purposes.
Once the BWN is lifted, IF there proved to be contamination, you should flush all water from your pipes before using it as normal. This means flushing toilets, running water from faucets for at least one minute, throw out three batches of ice from the ice maker, etc. If there was no contamination, then you don’t need to take any steps; just use your water as normal.