+ City of Austin, Texas

You are here

Programs

As a collaborative partnership with Austin Water, the Joint Committee will assist in developing recommendations for short-term and long-term financial plans to strengthen the financial stability of Austin Water Utility.

Austin Water is no longer accepting applications for this program.

This graph shows Austin's current daily water usage in million gallons per day (MGD). The demand trigger for Stage 2 Water Restrictions is usage that reaches 270 MGD for one day or 260 MGD for three consecutive days.

See a multi-year graph highlighting 3 years of water usage: 2007 (wet year), 2011 (dry year) and 2015 (starting in January).

Austin Water is currently in the budget creation process for the next fiscal year that begins on October 1, 2013. We will host an open house on Wednesday, June 5th from 6-8 p.m. for Austin Water customers interested in the budget process. The meeting will be held at Austin Water’s main office located at 625 East 10th Street in Room 104.  The first meeting was held on May 20th.

Austin Water’s commission and task force are important in that they enable citizens to participate in Austin's government processes.

The Water Partnership, a collaborative effort by the City of Austin and Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), works to assess water use, implement water conservation strategies and ensure water quality for Austin and the surrounding area.

Irrigation Assessments

Commercial, multi-family, and City municipal facilities equal to or greater than 1.0 acre in size are required to obtain an evaluation of any permanently installed irrigation system. Evaluations must be performed by an Austin Water Authorized Irrigation Inspector.

The Austin Water Utility has conducted a comprehensive study to update and improve its methods for determining fair and defensible rates for its services.

The Austin Water Utility Cross Connection/Water Protection Program administers local, state and federal regulation compliance to protect health and safety of the public water supply. Our program works to prevent cross connections by ensuring safeguards are in place to protect the public water system from contamination hazards. We also work to prevent unauthorized use or damage to fire hydrants to ensure constant fire suppression capabilities.

Austin Water treats your drinking water to the highest standards providing exceptional value and reliability.

The Drought Presents Historic Challenges

The ongoing drought in the Austin area is a serious challenge our community must address. As your publicly owned water utility, we want to share this information about the drought, conservation, how Austin Water is working to protect your water supply and how you can be part of the effort to meet this historic challenge.

To file a claim with the City of Austin, you should send a letter addressed to: City of Austin Law Department P.O. Box 1546 Austin, TX 78767-1546  

Commercial, manufacturing, or trade establishments (including nonprofits, government agencies, and businesses) must obtain a permit to discharge industrial waste into the City’s sanitary sewer system. Most industrial waste producers will fall in the general industrial user category. If you have already obtained one, you may follow this link to print your current General Industrial User permit.

This is a comprehensive list of contact information for Austin Water services.

Our Industrial Waste Pretreatment Program ensures that local, state and federal regulations are met regarding the quality of wastewater discharged into the City’s wastewater system. Area businesses are required to install, operate and adequately maintain pretreatment devices and/or systems to remove pollutants that could otherwise damage or obstruct the wastewater collection system or interfere with the wastewater treatment process.

Austin Water trata el agua potable a los más altos estándares para proporcionar un valor excepcional y fiabilidad.

Free Irrigation System Evaluations You may schedule a free Irrigation System Evaluation if you are a residential customer of Austin Water or a qualifying water provider, have an in-ground sprinkler system, and have used either more than 25,000 gallons in one month this season or more than 20,000 gallons in two consecutive months this season.  A licensed irrigator from Austin Water will check your system and help you determine an efficient watering schedule.

Commercial and multi-family customers of Austin Water or a qualifying water provider may receive rebates for installing the following irrigation system improvements:

A clean environment while serving food is good for your customers and your community. Waste water from your mobile food business must be disposed of properly to avoid clogging sewer lines or polluting the environment. Even on the go, there is much you can do to protect the environment and avoid fines.

Variances to watering restrictions for commercial and residential properties may be granted in accordance with City Code, Chapter 6-4-30, Water Conservation Code. The director may grant a variance to Section 6-4-15 (Water Conservation Stage Regulations), Section 6-4-16 (Drought Response Stage One Regulations), Section 6-4-17 (Drought Response Stage Two Regulations), or Section 6-4-18 (Drought Response Stage Three Regulations), if the director determines that the property has completed the installation of a Xeriscape. 

Chapter 6-4-2 defines New Landscape as:

By definition, a political subdivision can set its own rules within its jurisdiction. Given the importance of the Austin City Code as the enforcement authority behind our Pretreatment Program, a political subdivision in the Austin Water Utility service area discharging wastewater to the City presents a special concern. These concerns are compounded if the political subdivision receives any industrial sources of wastewater within its jurisdiction.

Installing a properly fitted swimming pool cover can reduce the amount of water lost to evaporation, decrease the amount of debris in the pool, and help lower pool maintenance costs.

Qualifying Austin Water residential customers can receive a rebate for 50 percent of the purchase price up to:

  • $50 for a new manual pool cover or solar rings; or
  • $200 for a new permanent, mechanical pool cover.

The rebate is limited to one pool cover per customer, per service address.

Wastewater surcharges are charged to businesses that discharge wastewater exceeding “normal” wastewater standards. Business wastewater can be more heavily concentrated with solids and organic matter than residential wastewater, making it more expensive to treat. 

A Private Lateral (P-Lat) is the wastewater line that connects a building to the City’s wastewater system. A P-Lat is not owned by the City. The Austin Water Utility performs investigations of P-Lats for City retail wastewater customers when there is a wastewater overflow or blockage on private property or when there is a problem with the City’s wastewater system that could affect P-Lat.

In 2014, with the ongoing drought, City Council created the Austin Water Resource Planning Task Force to provide guidance and direction for seeking out and securing additional water supplies. While the Task Force recommended many options, water conservation continues to be the most cost effective and was given primary consideration.

Renewing Austin is an ongoing program to replace and upgrade aging water lines. Since 2012, this program has replaced more than 41 miles of deteriorated water lines.

Commercial customers who currently pay a wastewater surcharge may request that their business be resampled and their surcharge reassessed. The wastewater surcharge only applies to permitted businesses discharging extra-strength wastewater. 

The purpose of “SMOKE TESTING” is to locate obstructions, and leaks in the sanitary sewer.

Austin Water regularly performs sewer line smoke testing throughout the city. The information from these tests helps us improve sewer services. Smoke testing is the process of forcing smoke filled air into the sewer system. Smoke under pressure will fill the line, escape through defects and help us pinpoint breaks or defects in the sewer line.

What you can expect to happen before, during, and after the smoke testing

Significant Industrial Users (SIUs) are industrial waste producers that, by federal definition, require a specific level of regulatory attention. SIUs must meet self-monitoring and reporting requirements for effluent limitations, sample collection, reporting schedules, record keeping, and hazardous materials management.

Austin Water’s Standard Products List specifies acceptable manufacturer products for use in the construction of water and wastewater facilities. These products have undergone stringent testing to ensure the safety, reliability and consistency within the Austin Water system.

In limited situations, Austin Water may be able to grant a variance from the watering schedule. Please click on the links to find more information about an available variance; detailed instructions, and the variance application. All variance requests must be made on the provided application. Please note that applicants must follow the watering schedule in effect until a variance is approved. 

The wastewater averaging cycle that determines wastewater charges begins mid November 2014. This averaging cycle, which will continue until mid-March 2015, determines wastewater rates for the 2014-2015 service year. Austin Water Utility conducts wastewater averaging for three months in the late fall and winter months because less outdoor water is used during this time; this better determines the actual indoor wastewater amounts that are returned to the wastewater system.

The Federal Clean Water Act regulates discharges into the U.S. surface water bodies such as streams, lakes and estuaries. All plants discharging treated effluent into surface waters of the U.S. are required to obtain a permit that regulates the quantity and quality of their discharges. In 1998, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency delegated the oversight of this program in Texas to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

On October 24, 2013, The Austin City Council voted to pass an ordinance updating impact fees that can be assessed by Austin Water. The vote was the culmination of over a year of public outreach and stakeholder input on how best to structure the fees, coordinated through the Impact Fee Advisory Committee.

Lowering our water use ensures clean water for future generations, reduces the electricity required for water and wastewater services, and decreases the need and expense for water infrastructure.

Because of the ongoing drought facing our community, Austin Water has implemented Drought Response Stage 2 Restrictions.

Water Quality Reports for Major Industrial Users and Consumers. Monthly and Quarterly Summaries of water quality parameters in finished drinking water.

Reclaimed water is recycled from wastewater generated by homes and businesses and treated for virtually any use not requiring higher-quality drinking water, including irrigation, cooling towers, industrial uses, and toilet flushing. Using reclaimed water protects the drinking water supply, recycles water, and saves money.

Customers of the City of Austin Water Utility (Utility) receive their drinking water from two water treatment plants that pump surface water from the Colorado River as it flows into Lake Austin. The City of Austin treats and filters the water according to federal and state standards to remove any possible harmful contaminants.

The Austin Water Utility and our paying customers are victims of millions of gallons of water annually stolen from fire hydrants.

WTP4, Austin Water’s newest water treatment plant is completed.  The plant, which is located on Lake Travis, is capable of treating 50 million gallons a day (mgd) with room to expand to 300 mgd. This investment will add reliability by giving utility customers an additional plant that draws from Lake Travis instead of Lake Austin, save energy in serving the north and northwest Desired Development Zone, and provide for continuous service during shutdowns and repairs of Austin Water’s two other treatment plants and aging pump stations which are critical to getting water to customers.

The City of Austin adopted Ordinance No. 20121011-005 which went into effect on Oct. 22, 2012. This ordinance (now Chapter 15-12 of the Austin City Code) includes registration requirements that apply in conjunction with the drilling of water wells, the installation of water well pumps and other closely related activities. Starting early in 2014, properties with one or more water wells will be charged a fee of $7.50 per month.

Variances to watering restrictions for commercial and residential properties may be granted in accordance with City Code, Section 6-4-30 (C).

Austin Water is currently in Stage 2 Water Restrictions. This means the amount of water in lakes Travis and Buchanan have fallen below a minimum supply level.  Water is a limited resource. Remember to adjust your automatic sprinklers or manual watering times based on your address.

Save water, save money, and add convenience with a new timer for your hose-end sprinkler.

Homeowners and schools may receive up to $500 ($0.30/sq. foot -- 100 sq. foot min.) for installing landscape features such as berms, terraces, swales, rain gardens, porous pavement, and infiltration trenches that direct and retain rainwater on the property.