AUSTIN — On behalf of Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk, Austin Water on Tuesday gave a presentation to the city council regarding the timeline of the historic boil water notice.
The presentation follows a resolution the council made last month calling for an open dialogue to examine what led to the city's boil water crisis, an analysis of the City's response, and what the City can do to respond and recover more quickly in the future.
Austin Water's presentation detailed the timeline and described how Austin Water is now working with a consultant to review options to enhance the current treatment technologies based on the water quality experiences and the lessons learned. Additionally, Austin Water consulted with two university professors to provide peer review of the testing results and their recommendations.
A more detailed "after-action report," something the City said is done routinely after an event of this caliber, will take a few more months to complete.
The October boil water notice happened after major flooding clogged Austin's water treatment plants. This was the first ever city-wide boil water notice. There was initially reports it could last 10-14 days before lasting only six. The deadline for Cronk to submit a report about what led up to the boil water notice and how the City handled the situation was Tuesday, Dec. 11
In November, KVUE obtained emails that were sent between several city leaders showing a concerted effort to manage the situation days before the notice began.
One email went out at 2 a.m., saying certain infrastructures were struggling to "keep up with the impacts," that "mother nature threw more at the system than it could handle," and also that they "had a late night at the emergency operations center" working with regional partners to figure out what to do. A press conference ended up being called at six the next morning, which is when the lift started.