AUSTIN, Texas — You may have noticed Austin's tap water still stinks.
Austin Water customers in South and Central Austin have been complaining about the unsavory smell since Thursday.
At first, Austin Water said it hoped to fix the problem within a single day, but now it isn't saying how long the smell will last.
However, Austin Water employees tested the water and said that although it may smell, it is still safe to drink.
On Saturday morning, Austin Water posted on Facebook:
"We are continuing to see big improvements to taste and odor this morning as water moves throughout the distribution system. Operations are flushing lines to help move the water through faster. Water continues to meet all regulatory and drinking water standards and is safe to drink."
Flushing lines through fire hydrants is what Austin Water crews have been doing. They pop the hydrants open and allow the smelly water to flow out so the clean water can come in.
Austin Water says powdered activated carbon was used to reduce the odor.
"Austin Water activated about 5-10 crews during the weekend to operate from the hours of 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Please refer to map for area of locations. We have averaged about 60-100 daily work orders from customers calling into dispatch or 311," Austin Water Spokesperson Geneva Guerrero told KVUE,
She also said it's taking a long time possibly because of the number of pipes, and the distance the normal-smelling water has to travel through could take a long time.
The smell most likely comes from zebra mussels that got stuck in water pipes. Crews are working on flushing the lines to get rid of the smell.
Even though Austin Water is assuring customers that the water is safe, routinely checked and suitable for normal use, some residents are still frustrated and concerned about the smell.
"I definitely don't want to be drinking the water, it smells and if it's bad for your clothes or bathing and stuff like that ... we do give our dogs tap water. I'm probably going to start giving them bottled water," said Bryan Parsons, a resident in South Austin.
"But I just want it to not smell every time you turn on a faucet and wash your hands, or smell your hand or move your hand by your face and it stinks like dead fish – I'd really like that to go away," said Heidi Wlezien, a South Austin resident.
There is still no timeline for when the odor will disappear, but the City encourages customers with odor issues in their water to call 311.