AUSTIN, Texas — Austin ISD, Round Rock ISD and Del Valle ISD are asking students and staff to bring bottles of cooled, boiled water to school on Monday after the city was placed under a boil water notice on Saturday.
Austin Water released the city-wide precautionary boil water notice late Saturday evening, marking the third time in five years where the utility has done so. Austin Water Director Greg Meszaros told KVUE Senior Reporter Tony Plohetski on Sunday that officials believe the boil water notice may have been the result of human error but cautioned that information is preliminary.
He said that the issue appears to "a staff operations issue" and "how we operate the plant."
"We will go through a review of our data and interview people and do other steps to see what happened with the operations," he said. "I don't want to speculate on details until we go through that process."
For more details about the City's boil water notice, click here.
Amid the boil water notice, AISD said it is temporarily removing access to water fountains and bottle refill stations, and the district will deliver bottled water to campuses on Sunday in case students or staff forget or run out of water.
Both districts said there will be a modified lunch menu that will use less water in the cooking process. AISD said school kitchens are boiling large quantities of water using industrial equipment and dishes are being sanitized with dishwashers that reach a high internal temperature to ensure serving lunch safely.
Round Rock ISD said the following schools in its district were affected by the boil water notice:
- Anderson Mill Elementary
- Canyon Creek Elementary
- Canyon Vista Middle School
- Caraway Elementary
- Deerpark Middle School
- Elsa England Elementary
- Forest North Elementary
- Grisham Middle School
- Grounds Maintenance
- Jollyville Elementary
- Kelly Reeves Stadium
- Laurel Mountain Elementary
- Live Oak Elementary
- McNeil High School
- McNeil Performing Arts Center
- Pearson Ranch Middle School
- Pond Springs Elementary
- Purple Sage Elementary
- Sommer Elementary
- Spicewood Elementary
- Transportation West
- Westwood High School
- Wells Branch Elementary
- Joe Lee Johnson Elementary
Round Rock ISD officials told KVUE on Sunday that bottled water and water stations will be provided to all affected campuses.
Del Valle ISD told KVUE water fountains will be closed. The district is also using an alternative cafeteria menu and will use paper and plastic plates for meals to avoid washing dishes.
You can find a list of water distribution sites open on Sunday here.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler said the issue “will be over in a couple of days” and urged Austinites to conserve water during that time. Austin Water outlined five steps that need to happen before the boil water notice is lifted. We have more information about how long the boil water notice could last here.
Monday will be the first day back to school after classes were called off on Thursday and Friday due to the winter storm that moved through Central Texas.
The boil water notice did not have to do with the recent winter storm, and Meszaros said the timing between the storm and the incident was a coincidence.
"This did not have to do with the winter storm. We were through that event and actually were feeling pretty celebratory that everything went well and then today we had this event," he said. "Nothing suggests that this is related to the winter storm."
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