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Residents report phony water testing

Tuesday, July 31, 2018 by Katy McElroy

According to Austin’s water utility, if someone shows up unannounced at your house and asks to test your water, they definitely are not doing so on behalf of the city. In a press release yesterday, Austin Water stated that it has “received several calls from residents reporting having been solicited for a water sample by an unidentified individual.” This individual apparently then told the residents that the water was “unsafe to drink.” On the contrary, the utility reports: Austin’s tap water is perfectly fine to use and drink. In light of this strange ruse, Austin Water would like to remind the public that its employees:

  • will not show up at a residence unannounced and ask to sample water, nor do employees ever go into residences to conduct sampling;
  • will not ask the customer for a water sample and then tell them that it is contaminated in a single visit; and
  • will always have required city identification and drive marked city vehicles.

Water quality information and boil water notices can be found at You can also call the utility’s 24-hour emergency dispatch line at 512-972-1000 to inquire about work being conducted by an Austin Water employee in your neighborhood or report a water-related emergency. If you’re a victim of this water sampling scam, Austin Water asks that you call 311 to file a report – but call 911 if you feel you are in immediate danger.

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