Winter Weather Updates

[Updated at 11 a.m. March 15. This page will be updated as news becomes available.]

Update, March 10: The City Council at the March 9 meeting approved a one-time, automatic, $10 credit for all Georgetown water customers for dripping faucets in response to the winter storm in February.

Click any of the links below to be taken to that section of the updates.

  1. Disaster relief resources guide
  2. How will the storm affect my electric bill?
  3. Winter storm leak adjustment request
  4. Tree limb collection
  5. Permits for winter storm damage repairs
  6. Water/electric outages
  7. Solid waste and recycling collection
  8. Disaster Declarations
  9. Other service providers in Georgetown

Questions about the winter storm and the City’s recovery efforts? Check out the Georgetown winter storm FAQ

Disaster Relief Resources for Winter Storm Uri

The City of Georgetown has developed a Disaster Relief Resources for Winter Storm Uri page with information about available resources, including:

  • Local resources: General, food, mental health, transportation, unemployment benefits, utilities, renters/homeowners, local aid organizations, City services
  • State/federal resources: disaster relief, Texas Health and Human Services, Public Utility Commission
  • Damage assessment information

How will the recent winter storm affect my electric bill?

Georgetown rates will not change, but you could see higher bills due to usage.

While it is true that the wholesale price of power increased exponentially for all Texas electric utilities during February’s extreme weather, City of Georgetown electric customers will see no difference in their electric rates at this time. At the direction of City Council, the City of Georgetown plans to take out a $47.8 million loan, to be paid by electric revenue over 10 years, to cover our wholesale power bill from the storm. Any changes will be communicated publicly through this website, other City communications channels, and the media.

If your electric bill is higher than normal for this time of year, it’s likely due to how much energy you used during the storm. Heating your home during cold weather uses a significant amount of energy, even more so if you experienced outages and needed to reheat your home. We know some of those outages were in response to ERCOT’s requirements to protect the statewide electric grid from collapsing. We have multiple options to help you pay your electric bill, such as funding assistance through partner agencies and in-house customer programs you may qualify for.

Go here for more detail on what happened and answers to frequently asked questions about the situation.

2021 Winter storm leak adjustment request

During the recent severe winter weather event, the City asked all water customers to drip their faucets for an extended period of time in an effort to limit pipe damage. To show our appreciation, and cover the associated costs, the City Council has approved a one-time water-utility credit of $10 for Georgetown residential and commercial water customers. This credit will appear on the first utility bill you receive after March 15, 2021.

Tree limb collection

Crews contracted by the City of Georgetown have been collecting tree limbs and natural debris since Feb. 24 for residents who live in Georgetown city limits. Tree limb collection should be completed this week, March 15-19.

Click here to find out more.

Permits for winter storm damage repairs

The City of Georgetown’s Building Inspections Department will be working with homeowners and businesses during the next month to assess damage from the Feb. 10-21 winter weather event.

From Feb. 20-March 23, the City will assess each repair situation reported by customers to determine if a permit is required. Permits are required when multiple water pipes are broken since those damages can affect the integrity of the plumbing system and fixtures. The City is waiving permit fees on a case-by-case basis during this month-long assessment period.

Property owners are not required to request a permit for emergency repairs, such as replacing a hose bib or a short section of pipe (5 feet or less).

If more repairs need to be done, a remodel permit must be retained. A remodel permit is 42 cents per square foot. Permits are still required for repairs to gas lines or gas systems.

Visit permits.georgetown.org for more information and updates.

Water/electric outages

If you are experiencing a water or electric outage, please check our outage map. If your outage is not shown, please call 512-930-3640 and select option 1 for “electric/water/sewer emergency” to be transferred to the outage-reporting phone system. If you can’t get through via phone, you can email customercare@georgetown.org. The call center operates from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. Calls received after hours are routed to the control center.

Solid waste and recycling collection

Texas Disposal Systems resumed normal collection of landfill trash and recycling on Monday, Feb. 22. Please put your carts curbside on your normal collection day.

Extra recycling can be placed in cardboard boxes next to your recycling cart.

TDS is processing several tons more waste than typical as a result of the storm. If your pickup was missed or you have other questions, please call 512-930-1715.

The Transfer Station, 250 W.L. Walden Drive, is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday for Georgetown utility customers to drop off brushy debris and recycling. Customers should bring a utility bill and matching ID.  Recyclables drop-off is free of charge.

Disaster declarations

The City of Georgetown issued a disaster declaration on Feb. 14 due to the winter storm. City Council extended the declaration until March 23, 2021, at a special-called meeting at 2 p.m. Feb. 21 via Zoom. Staff continues to work with other cities, Williamson County, and regional partners to coordinate the response to this event.

The disaster declaration allows the City to request resources from the county, state, and federal government in responding to the winter storm. Resources could include sheltering needs, cleanup assistance, or emergency response. The disaster declaration is the legal mechanism to seek reimbursement for these expenses. The disaster declaration also authorizes the mayor to effect actions such as evacuations, altering transportation routes, establishing a curfew, suspending deadlines in city ordinances, and other measures to protect life and secure property in an emergency.

The disaster declaration is not the same as the Drought Contingency Plan, which authorizes the City to enact water use restrictions in order to provide for basic domestic use and fire flow.

Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statewide disaster declaration Feb. 12.

President Joseph Biden issued a federal disaster declaration Feb. 14.

Other service providers in Georgetown

Cable/Internet/Phone: Suddenlink

Gas: Atmos Energy

Electric: Oncor, Pedernales Electric Cooperative

Water use restrictions lifted at noon Feb. 23

Restrictions on nonessential use of water were lifted at noon Feb. 23 for all City of Georgetown water customers. The City’s water has recovered storage capacity and returned to normal operations following the winter storm, allowing the City to lift the restrictions early.

The restrictions lift at noon to gavecommercial businesses affected by the restrictions, like carwashes, time to staff for the day and ensure they open at the same time, so as not to give businesses an unfair advantage.

“We are so grateful for everyone’s hard work limiting water use the past few days. Our water system recovered much quicker than anticipated, and we have returned to normal operations,” City Manager David Morgan said. “The water and power outages many of our customers experienced during and after the winter storm last week were extremely challenging on all of us. The strength and goodwill you showed your neighbors and our crews working around the clock truly helped us all get through this.”

Water uses such as irrigation, washing vehicles, adding water to a pool, and industrial uses are permitted once the restrictions lift. However, leaving irrigation systems off and limiting other outdoor uses are still encouraged.

Restrictions on outdoor water use started at 5 p.m. Feb. 21 and initially were scheduled to lift at 11:59 p.m. Feb. 24. The restrictions were put in place to allow the City’s water system time to recover from the effects of the subfreezing temperatures and power outages last week.

All boil water notices have been lifted for Georgetown water customers. The last boil water notice was lifted Monday after samples indicated that state drinking water standards were met.

The City of Georgetown enacted Stage 3 of the Drought Contingency Plan at 5 p.m. Feb. 21 for all its customers, because the recent ice storm created a demand for water that exceeded the supply, and severe conservation measures are required to maintain the ability to provide the proper level of service.

 City crews worked around the clock to address the issues caused by the winter storm, including repairing lift and pump stations, as well as burst water mains.

Boil water notice lifted for Florence area

Water boil notice lifted for Florence area

The City of Georgetown has lifted the boil water notice for 720 affected customers in the Florence area. This is the last boil water notice that was issued as a result of low pressure due to the prolonged subfreezing temperatures and from power outages due to the recent winter storm. As a result, no Georgetown water service areas have to boil water prior to consumption.

Water service has been restored to all City of Georgetown customers affected by the storm; however, the system is still recovering, so the Phase 3 essential use restriction remains in place for all customers through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24. Customers should limit water use to essential domestic purposes such as drinking and cooking.

The water distributed by this public water system used for drinking water or human consumption purposes has undergone laboratory tests and results provided to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality that indicates the water no longer requires boiling prior to use as of Feb. 22, 2021.

Customers might experience sedimentation and/or discoloration resulting from the loss of pressure in the water system. To remove sedimentation and/or discoloration, people should flush household pipes, ice makers, water fountains, etc., prior to using it for drinking or cooking. Flushing simply means letting the water run to ensure no sedimentation and/or discoloration remains in your pipes. Here are some steps people should take:

  • Run all cold-water faucets in your home until air and discolored water stop.
  • To flush automatic ice makers, make and discard three batches of ice.
  • Run water softeners through a regeneration cycle

Please check the outage map for the latest information.

As the water system works to refill the water towers, it does take time for the system to fully respond, and continued fluctuations in water pressure are to be expected.

Due to the prolonged subfreezing temperatures and power outages during the winter storm, treatment and distribution facilities struggled to maintain the water pressure required by law, and many customers lost water pressure or water service.

City crews worked around the clock to address the issues caused by the winter storm, including repairing lift and pump stations, as well as burst water mains.

The City lifted the following boil water notices on Sunday, Feb. 21:

  • The Westinghouse area bound by IH-35 to FM1460 (about 1,700 customers)
  • Liberty Hill (1,300 customers)

The City lifted the following boil water notices on Saturday, Feb. 20:

  • Leander Road/FM2243 area, from Southwest Bypass to Garey Park and the Parkside Parkway area, from FM 2243 to Sam Bass Road (1,300 customers)
  • Wood Road/Hwy. 29 area, bound by I-35, D.B. Wood Road, Hwy. 29, and Williams Drive. The includes the area of Booty’s Crossing Road, Serenada Neighborhood, portions of Berry Creek Neighborhood, and Wolf Ranch Northfork and Southfork (3,600 customers)
  • Areas west of Georgetown, including Santa Rita, Northlake, and Andice (about 11,000 customers)

Water restrictions in place as water system recovers

The City of Georgetown is enacting Stage 3 of the Drought Contingency Plan for all its customers effective 5 p.m. Feb. 21, 2021. Georgetown water customers must severely restrict all use of potable water through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, when a safe and adequate water supply for public use is expected to be restored. Find out more at https://bit.ly/2ZBwG8j.

Updates will be posted to georgetown.org.

Boil water FAQs

Is the water safe for brushing teeth, washing hands or bathing?
During a boil water notice, you can use tap water and soap to wash hands. Be sure to scrub your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and rinse well under running water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

While you can use tap water for bathing and showering, be careful not to swallow any water. Use caution when bathing babies and young children. Consider giving them a sponge bath to reduce the chance of them swallowing water.

Brush teeth with previously boiled or bottled water. Do not use untreated tap water.

How do I prepare food and baby formula?
Use boiled or bottled water only for drinking, cooking, making ice, washing fruits and vegetables, brushing teeth, making baby formula, bathing and cleaning.

Breast feed your baby or use ready-made formula. If you must use water to make formula, use bottled water. If you don’t have bottled water, use water that has been rapidly boiled for at least two (2) minutes.

What about my pets?
You should follow the same boiling water procedures for your pet as you would for yourself.
Is the water safe for washing dishes and laundry?
The water is safe for washing dishes, but you should use hot, soapy water (you may add one tablespoon of bleach per gallon as a precaution) and rinse dishes in boiled water. Household dishwashers generally are safe to use if the water reaches a final rinse temperature of at least 150 degrees Fahrenheit (65.55°Celsius), or if the dishwater has a sanitizing cycle.
However, until the Georgetown’s water service is restored, please continue to conserve water, using only what is absolutely necessary.

Water outage restoration work update

The City of Georgetown is working to restore water service in areas affected by outages or low water pressure, which led to boil water orders. Water pressure has been improved in some areas affected by the sub-freezing temperatures. The City does not yet have an estimate for restoring full water service to outage areas.

Those in areas with boil water orders in place may begin to see the restoration of water pressure as repairs are made. Customers should continue to boil water before drinking until the boil water notices are lifted. Once water pressure is restored, the utility takes water samples for testing to ensure it is safe to drink.

Current water service restoration work includes:

  • Mobilizing contractors to help Water Department staff fix water lines ruptured by freezing temperatures, including a 10-inch line in Liberty Hill and a 16-inch line in Mayfield Ranch
  • Working to use and repair generators to run pumps without power, especially in western parts of the service area
  • Using generators to re-establish telecommunication links for monitoring and control to tanks, pumps, and other equipment affected by power outages
  • Using heaters to deice pumps and valves affected by freezing at water treatment plants

 

Utility crews and others in the City are working around the clock to make repairs and restore water service.

Once water pressure is restored and water is tested to ensure it is safe to drink, the City will notify the public that the boil water orders have been lifted.

Customers can help to contribute to restoring water pressure by limiting water use to essential needs. Delaying washing clothes and making sure irrigation systems are off can help to reduce system demands.

Information about water outages is shown on the water outage map.

For additional updates about water and power outages, go to georgetown.org.

Winter Storm FAQ