Austin’s water supply comes from the Colorado River which runs into two lakes, Lake Travis and Lake Austin. Austin’s three treatment plants effectively filter contaminants from the water before delivering it to homes for use and consumption, but the does run through farmer’s fields and urban developments that generate waste that pollutes the tap water. However, unless there is a flood or other contamination where the city needs to put the area under a boil notice, the water is generally safe for drinking straight from the tap.
Sources of Pollutants in Austin’s Tap Water
According to the Texas on Environment Quality, the tap water in Austin is susceptible to contaminants, so the city does employ strategies to keep the tap water safe for residents to drink.
Some common pollutants the city monitors for include:
1. Storm water run offs contain harmful chemicals that pollute the tap water.
2. Petroleum products such as gas and oil contain toxic pollutants.
3. Bacteria and viruses classified as microbial pollutants can make tap water unsafe to drink.
Residents who have chronic illnesses, the elderly, and young children and babies are more apt to get sick if they drink the tap water in the city of Austin or the surrounding areas, though this issue is a rarity.
Suggestions for Drinking Tap Water in Austin
To ensure water is as safe to drink as possible, it’s a good idea to utilize a water purification system. A purification system will help remove any potentially harmful contaminants in the water, and it also makes the water taste much better (if you’ve ever tried drinking Austin tap water, you know what we’re talking about).
In the event of emergencies such as busted pipes or flooding, it’s important to boil your water or treat it with a UV water purification system before drinking it. Austin, Tx has many companies that offer water filtration solutions to assist you in this situation.
Businesses should consider employing a reputable local company to set up work place water coolers for their customers and employees.
What to Watch for if You’re Sick
Residents who experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever/chills, or headaches who have recently consumed tap water (especially right around the time a boil notice has gone into effect) may want to consider getting medical advice. During this time, it’s important to stay hydrated with clean, pure water or a drink that helps replenish electrolytes.
There have been low levels of lead detected in Austin tap water, which comes from old pipes and plumbing that contain lead. This is a common issue in many cities, but fortunately Austin generally has extremely low levels of lead compared to other parts of the country. While some water purification systems remove lead, some do not—so it’s important to know if your system does (if you have one).
Water Quality for Austin Businesses
Austin is one of the most favorable cities in the country for new business due to its growth and friendliness to companies. Businesses find that the low taxes and government regulations make it a desirable option to start in or expand to.
To keep employees and customers safe and to offer a better experience, Austin businesses should consider purchasing water filtration systems for lunchrooms, offices, and waiting rooms.