Austin Water http://kut.org en Prescribed Burn Could Have Austin-Area Residents Seeing Smoke http://kut.org/post/prescribed-burn-could-have-austin-area-residents-seeing-smoke <p>Austin area residents may see some smoke today as the result of a prescribed burn.</p><p>Officials warn that smoke may be visible west of Buda and south of FM 1826 from mid-morning until sunset. Citizens are urged to keep the prescribed burn in mind and exercise caution when contacting emergency services about any smoke.</p> Wed, 19 Feb 2014 18:14:37 +0000 Kelly Krupa 9809 at http://kut.org Prescribed Burn Could Have Austin-Area Residents Seeing Smoke British Invasion: Could London's 'Fatberg' Lurk in Austin Sewers? http://kut.org/post/british-invasion-could-londons-fatberg-lurk-austin-sewers <p>Cooking grease may be an afterthought for some, but as London&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/08/06/209487575/fatberg-15-ton-lump-of-lard-removed-from-london-sewer">discovered this week</a>,&nbsp;grease can become a costly, time consuming problem. The city was forced to remove 15,000 tons of gunky, fatty buildup from its sewage pipelines, a so-called "Fatberg" the size of a double-decker bus.</p><p>It looks like Austin may have steered clear of the Fatberg, however: Austin has a smaller sewer system and diligent monitoring. But it’s easy to see how quickly grease buildups can transform themselves into a major cost: a&nbsp;<a href="http://austintexas.gov/department/stop-grease-blob">12 month summary</a> of sanitary sewer overflows reveals that six incidents in April cost Austin Water $25,500.</p><p> Wed, 07 Aug 2013 20:48:23 +0000 Roy Varney 8464 at http://kut.org British Invasion: Could London's 'Fatberg' Lurk in Austin Sewers? Austin - Soon You’ll Be Able to Irrigate the Yard With Your Washing Machine Wastewater http://kut.org/post/austin-soon-you-ll-be-able-irrigate-yard-your-washing-machine-wastewater <p></p><p>In an eco-friendly city like Austin, you’d think reclaimed water systems for the home would be a no-brainer. Instead, the entire city has only one fully licensed greywater system. But that could soon change.</p><p><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greywater">Greywater</a> systems (or graywater, or grey water – there’s no universally accepted spelling) take used water from sinks, showers and washing machines and funnel it to uses like landscaping instead of sending it down the drain. (Greywater doesn’t include toilet water.)</p><p> Fri, 26 Apr 2013 16:53:46 +0000 Wells Dunbar 7525 at http://kut.org Austin - Soon You’ll Be Able to Irrigate the Yard With Your Washing Machine Wastewater North Austin Water Boil Order Lifted (Update) http://kut.org/post/north-austin-water-boil-order-lifted-update <p><strong>Update:&nbsp;</strong>On Thursday, Austin Water announced the water boil order is lifted for customers along Parmer Lane between Legendary Drive and Sage Grouse Drive along East McNeil Road from Parmer Lane to Howard Lane.</p><p>According to the city, all lab tests on water quality have come back normal. The break that caused the water boil order has been repaired.&nbsp;</p><p> Fri, 05 Apr 2013 11:44:02 +0000 Trey Shaar 7195 at http://kut.org North Austin Water Boil Order Lifted (Update) Broken Fire Hydrant Causes Water, Lane Shutdown http://kut.org/post/broken-fire-hydrant-causes-water-lane-shutdown <p>Austin Water Utility crews have shut off water in the area of a broken fire hydrant. So water is no longer gushing out.</p><p>The utility tweeted this picture of the damaged hydrant this morning. Fri, 29 Mar 2013 11:49:00 +0000 Laura Rice 7141 at http://kut.org Broken Fire Hydrant Causes Water, Lane Shutdown Purple Pipe Goes Burnt Orange as UT Welcomes Reclaimed Water http://kut.org/post/purple-pipe-goes-burnt-orange-ut-welcomes-reclaimed-water <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The normally burnt orange University of Texas campus is looking a little more purple.</span></p><p>Today, campus and city officials celebrated the completion of a project that installed purple pipes on campus. The university is estimating these pipes, connected to <a href="http://austintexas.gov/department/water-reclamation" target="_blank">Austin Water’s reclaimed water system</a>, will save the campus 70 million gallons of drinking water annually.</p><p> Wed, 27 Mar 2013 21:31:00 +0000 Bobby Blanchard 7110 at http://kut.org Purple Pipe Goes Burnt Orange as UT Welcomes Reclaimed Water First Welcome to SXSW Visitors? Austin's Compost Fire Stench http://kut.org/post/first-welcome-sxsw-visitors-austins-compost-fire-stench <p>Austin Water is still working with the fire department to extinguish an ongoing compost fire at the Hornsby Bend Biosolids Plant.</p><p>The fire started at the waste management facility <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/dillo-dirt-fire-it-smolders-smells-and-stifles-sales">more than two weeks ago</a>, on Monday, Feb. 25.&nbsp;While water utility officials have seen a reduction of smoke from the smoldering heaps&nbsp;–&nbsp;especially with help from a rainy weekend&nbsp;–&nbsp;the surrounding area still smells.</p><p> Wed, 13 Mar 2013 16:47:53 +0000 Austin Feldman 6934 at http://kut.org First Welcome to SXSW Visitors? Austin's Compost Fire Stench Effort Begins to Extinguish Austin Compost Fires http://kut.org/post/effort-begins-extinguish-austin-compost-fires <p>One week after strong winds sparked fires at City of Austin compost piles, Water Utility crews have <a href="http://www.austintexas.gov/page/hornsby-bend-fire-updates">started the process</a> of putting them out.</p><p></p><p>The fires have been smoldering since Monday, February 25, in compost piles at the Hornsby Bend Biosolids Plant, where the fertilizer known as Dillo Dirt is produced. The fires were started by wind gusts of as much 50 mph.</p><p>The <a href="http://austintexas.gov/department/water">Austin Water Utility</a> says air quality is being monitored with the use of "special" monitoring devices and says the amount of smoke should diminish this week.&nbsp;</p><p> Tue, 05 Mar 2013 01:06:06 +0000 Trey Shaar 6821 at http://kut.org Effort Begins to Extinguish Austin Compost Fires Dillo Dirt Fire: It Smolders, Smells, and Stifles Sales http://kut.org/post/dillo-dirt-fire-smolders-smells-stifles-sales <p>Austin firefighters are still battling compost fires at a waste processing plant near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.</p><p>The fire burned at least an acre of Dillo Dirt at the <a href="http://www.vickreynet.com/featured-hornsby.asp">Hornsby Bend Biosolids Management Plant</a>, which will impact sales to over 70 Austin area vendors.</p><p> Wed, 27 Feb 2013 19:58:29 +0000 Andrew Weber 6769 at http://kut.org Dillo Dirt Fire: It Smolders, Smells, and Stifles Sales Map: Prescribed Burn Closes Slaughter Creek Trail http://kut.org/post/map-prescribed-burn-closes-slaughter-creek-trail <p>Slaughter Creek Trail in <a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=209065871047447760985.0004d650760bd10e599ed&amp;msa=0" target="_blank">southwest Austin off of Ranch to Market 1826</a> will be closed all day today because of a planned prescribed burn.</p><p>Austin Water Utility’s Wildland Conservation Division plans to burn about 70 acres of land in the area in order to manage brush and encourage the growth of native grasses.</p><p>The burn is expected to take five to six hours. It's not clear when the burn will begin. Fri, 22 Feb 2013 14:05:38 +0000 Laura Rice 6709 at http://kut.org Map: Prescribed Burn Closes Slaughter Creek Trail Amid a Trickle of Regulation, Private Wells Surging in Austin http://kut.org/post/amid-trickle-regulation-private-wells-surging-austin <p></p><p>The ongoing drought in Central Texas sapped the green out of many lawns&nbsp;–&nbsp;and spurred private well drilling in Austin. It’s a costly and fairly unregulated way for homeowners to get at the water from the aquifer below.&nbsp;</p><p>Computer records held by the state are backlogged and numbers are unreliable, but the Texas Water Development Board estimates that more than 150 wells have been drilled in Austin since 2006. At least 50 of those wells were drilled in the 78703 zip code. That encompasses West Austin, Tarrytown, and Pemberton Heights.</p><p> Wed, 09 Jan 2013 14:05:00 +0000 Karen Bernstein 6090 at http://kut.org Amid a Trickle of Regulation, Private Wells Surging in Austin Austin Water: No Major Pipe Problems Due to Freeze http://kut.org/post/austin-water-no-major-pipe-problems-due-freeze <p>Austin Water says it<a href="http://kutnews.org/post/cold-enough-freeze-some-tips-awu" target="_blank"> hasn’t seen a major spike in pipe breaks</a> during the recent cold snap. And it’s not clear whether a water main break yesterday in north central Austin was weather related.</p><p>While utility spokesman Jason Hill says breaks can happen anytime during freezing weather, he also says it’s a good sign that there haven’t been more problems so far.</p><p>“Worst case scenario, we could see a lot of water main breaks because of the cold snap," Hill says. "We're not seeing that right now so we’re pretty confident that we’ll be able to make it through this winter without any major casualties. But, just in case, we are poised to respond to do whatever we need to do to make sure that we don’t have water outages to our customers during these winter months.” Thu, 27 Dec 2012 20:41:00 +0000 Laura Rice 5985 at http://kut.org Austin Water: No Major Pipe Problems Due to Freeze Water Main Break Shuts Down Part of South 1st Street http://kut.org/post/water-main-break-shuts-down-part-south-1st-street <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="350" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&amp;msid=209065871047447760985.0004d0a8668048f461ba3&amp;hl=en&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;ll=30.222696,-97.771883&amp;spn=0.012979,0.018239&amp;z=15&amp;output=embed" width="425"></iframe><br><em><small>View <a href="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&amp;msid=209065871047447760985.0004d0a8668048f461ba3&amp;hl=en&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=m&amp;ll=30.222696,-97.771883&amp;spn=0.012979,0.018239&amp;z=15&amp;source=embed" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">Water Main Break</a> in a larger map</small></em></p><p>Austin Water Utility crews have shut down two lanes of South 1st&nbsp;Street because of a water main break.</p><p>One northbound lane and one southbound lane of South 1st Street is closed between St. Elmo Road and Radam Lane. That’s just south of Ben White Boulevard.</p><p> Wed, 12 Dec 2012 14:23:20 +0000 Laura Rice 5885 at http://kut.org Reluctantly, City Council Gives Up $15M for Water Treatment Plant 4 http://kut.org/post/reluctantly-city-council-gives-15m-water-treatment-plant-4 <p>Austin City Council begrudgingly parted with $15.5 million Thursday to help complete construction of Water Treatment Plant No. 4 &nbsp;in northwest Austin.</p><p><a href="http://kutnews.org/post/some-council-members-want-postpone-wtp4">The controversial plant </a>was designed to provide the city’s growing population with more drinking water. But it’s been controversial since its proposal as environmental groups opposed its construction.&nbsp;Now many of those activists are saying I told you so.</p><p> Fri, 07 Dec 2012 19:12:41 +0000 Tyler Pratt & Joy Diaz 5846 at http://kut.org Reluctantly, City Council Gives Up $15M for Water Treatment Plant 4 Seeing Smoke? Prescribed Burn West of Kyle and Buda http://kut.org/post/seeing-smoke-prescribed-burn-west-kyle-and-buda <p>You might see and smell smoke near Kyle and Buda this afternoon.</p><p>Austin Water's<a href="http://www.austintexas.gov/department/wildland-conservation-division" target="_blank"> Wildland Conservation Division</a> is planning to <a href="http://www.austintexas.gov/rxfire" target="_blank">conduct a prescribed burn</a> at the Onion Creek Management Unit&nbsp;<a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?oe=utf-8&amp;rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;q=7074+fm+150+kyle&amp;um=1&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=0x865b50c3d6ec1597:0x28d23f36b4b8d2a6,7074+Farm+to+Market+150,+Kyle,+TX+78640&amp;gl=us&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=059gUPnPD8js2QXn64DQCw&amp;ved=0CCAQ8gEwAA" target="_blank">off FM 150 west of Kyle</a>.</p><p>The burn will cover more than 500 acres and should go on between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.</p><p>Kevin Thuesen is the Environmental Conservation Program Manager for the City of Austin. He says people shouldn’t be concerned. Mon, 24 Sep 2012 18:45:37 +0000 Laura Rice & Kelli Ainsworth 5142 at http://kut.org Seeing Smoke? Prescribed Burn West of Kyle and Buda Stage 2 Watering Restrictions Take Effect Next Week http://kut.org/post/stage-2-watering-restrictions-take-effect-next-week <p>The City of Austin is <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/414881-austin-water-utility-press-release-083012.html">implementing Stage 2 water restrictions</a> starting Tuesday because of declining lake levels, but the rules will be slightly different than before.</p><p>“The combined lake levels between Lake&nbsp;Buchanan&nbsp;and Lake Travis has been the trigger,” Austin Water Utility spokesperson Jason Hill said. “It looks as if those two lakes combined will hit that 900,000 acre-foot trigger or go below it in the next week or so.”</p><p>The Lower Colorado River Authority <a href="http://www.lcra.org/water/drought/index.html">says</a> the lakes are currently 45 percent full and contain about 905,499 acre-feet of water. One acre-foot is enough water to cover an acre one-foot-deep in water. It amounts to 325,851 gallons, or enough to supply two to three households for a year.</p><p> Thu, 30 Aug 2012 19:09:11 +0000 Nathan Bernier 4990 at http://kut.org Stage 2 Watering Restrictions Take Effect Next Week Austin Water Offers Landscaping Rebates http://kut.org/post/austin-water-offers-landscaping-rebates <p>City of Austin Water Utility customers could <a href="http://www.austintexas.gov/department/waterwise-landscape-rebate" target="_blank">get up to $1250 in rebates</a> for changing their landscaping.</p><p>The water utility wants customers to replace thirsty turfgrass with native plant beds and permeable hardscapes that demand less water. Austin Water says some Central Texans have gardens and yards with plants that are not the best for the area.</p><p>“Some of the St. Augustine and other types of plants look pretty but they may not be successful in the kind of heat and especially the kind of drought that we’ve been experiencing. So we work with customers to help them choose better plants, better landscapes that are water wise," Austin Water Utility spokesperson Jill Mayfield says. Mon, 27 Aug 2012 17:52:38 +0000 Laura Rice 4955 at http://kut.org Austin Water Offers Landscaping Rebates What's That Smell? Algae Bloom Causing 'Musty' Smelling Water http://kut.org/post/whats-smell-algae-bloom-causing-musty-smelling-water <p>A <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyanobacteria">blue green algae bloom</a> in Lake Austin may lead to &ldquo;musty&rdquo; or &ldquo;earthy&rdquo; smelling and tasting water for some Austinites&nbsp;<a href="http://www.austintexas.gov/news/algae-bloom-could-add-unusual-taste-and-odor-water">says&nbsp;Austin Water</a>, the utility responsible for city water treatment and distribution.</p><p>Jason Hill, a spokesman for Austin Water, said there is no way to know what parts of the city might receive the water, but that the strange smell does not effect its safety.</p><p>Austin Water discovered high levels of the algae in routine samples of the city&#39;s raw water. Hill said the company is adding powdered carbon to its treatment process to try and counteract the algae&rsquo;s scent and flavor.</p><p> Wed, 18 Jul 2012 21:12:32 +0000 Olivia Gordon 4714 at http://kut.org What's That Smell? Algae Bloom Causing 'Musty' Smelling Water AM Update: DPS Completes 'Roadcheck 2012,' Sewage Spill in SE Travis Co., Colorado Wildfires http://kut.org/post/am-update-dps-completes-roadcheck-2012-sewage-spill-se-travis-co-colorado-wildfires <p><strong>Texas Department of Public Safety Completes &lsquo;Roadcheck 2012&rsquo;</strong></p><p><a href="http://kut.org/2012/06/texas-dps-inspecting-commercial-vehicles/" target="_blank">Earlier this month</a>, DPS troopers and civilian inspectors joined forces to make the roads safer in Texas.&nbsp;Inspecting more than 8,000 commercial vehicles, over a three-day period, the department issued thousands of citations and removed 1,763 vehicles and 243 drivers from the roads, according to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/director_staff/public_information/pr062612.htm" target="_blank">a statement</a>&nbsp;issued yesterday.</p><p>The program checks 18-wheelers, buses, and other commercial vehicles for things like unsafe brakes and tires. Drivers&rsquo; logs, driving time limits and licenses are also inspected.</p><p> Wed, 27 Jun 2012 13:05:07 +0000 Margaret Nicklas & Mary Mattia 4558 at http://kut.org AM Update: DPS Completes 'Roadcheck 2012,' Sewage Spill in SE Travis Co., Colorado Wildfires AM Update: Border Patrol Overhaul, Radioactive Texas Dump Questioned, Austin Budget Talks Continue http://kut.org/post/am-update-border-patrol-overhaul-radioactive-texas-dump-questioned-austin-budget-talks-continue <p><strong>New Border Patrol Strategy Focuses on Intelligence</strong></p><p>The U.S. Border Patrol unveiled a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.fronterasdesk.org/news/2012/may/08/border-patrol-unveiles-new-security-strategy/#.T6ph9sUQH9r" target="_blank">new plan</a>&nbsp;for tightening America&rsquo;s borders yesterday.</p><p>The 2012-2016 Border Patrol Strategic Plan includes tactics and technologies developed over the past few years like&nbsp;<a href="http://kutnews.org/post/top-morning-stories-october-26-2011-0" target="_blank">unmanned aircraft systems</a>&nbsp;&ndash; aka, drones &ndash; but also more focus on preventing risk.</p><p>The past few years have been a period of unprecedented&nbsp;<a href="http://kutnews.org/post/more-helicopters-fewer-troops-patrol-border" target="_blank">growth in resources</a>&nbsp;for the Border Patrol. Right now, there are more law enforcement officers on the border &ndash; more than 21,000 &ndash; than at any time in Border Patrol history.</p><p> Wed, 09 May 2012 13:04:47 +0000 Laura Rice & Carlos Morales 4191 at http://kut.org AM Update: Border Patrol Overhaul, Radioactive Texas Dump Questioned, Austin Budget Talks Continue