+ City of Austin, Texas

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In 2008, Austin Water conducted a comprehensive study to update and improve its methods for determining fair and defensible rates for its services.

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.

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 2016 (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 City of Austin and Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) have a Water Partnership to assess water use, implement water conservation strategies and ensure water quality for Austin and the surrounding area. The long-term plan is to ensure up to 250,000 acre-feet of additional water for Austin through 2100.

Irrigation Assessments

Every two years, commercial, multi-family, and City municipal facilities that are one-acre or larger in size must have an evaluation of any permanently installed irrigation system. An Austin Water Authorized Irrigation Inspector must perform the evaluation.

The Cross Connection/Water Protection Program administers local, state and federal regulations 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 is currently in Conservation Stage Water Restrictions. Drought stages are determined by the water supply, demand, and emergency triggers found in Austin’s Drought Contingency Plan.

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 by a licensed irrigator from Austin Water 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. 

Each audit varies depending on specific conditions but will generally include:

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

Boats, marinas and shore facilities in the City of Austin must comply with local, state and federal laws to insure that sewage is managed appropriately and the City’s water supply is protected (Austin City Code, Chapter  6-5, Article 3).

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.

More than 50 miles of reclaimed water runs in specially colored purple pipes beneath Austin streets--and that number is continuing to grow. Reclaimed water is recycled from wastewater generated by homes and businesses and treated for virtually any use not requiring higher-quality drinking water.  Such uses may include irrigation, cooling towers, industrial uses and toilet flushing.

Capitol Reclaimed Water Main Construction Information--Austin Water's most recent construction project.

Renewing Austin is an ongoing program to replace and upgrade aging 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. 

Austin Water regularly performs sewer system smoke testing throughout the City of Austin to help locate defects and improve the sanitary sewer services.

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.

Work to utility piping systems must be permitted or have temporary authorization by Austin Water to discharge into the sanitary sewer system, even if the building has a wastewater discharge permit.

In limited situations Austin Water may grant a variance from the water restrictions (City of Austin Code 6-4, Article 30). All requests for a variance must be submitted using the applications below. Variances are issued on a case-by-case basis.

Wastewater averaging is a way for you to save money. Wastewater averaging takes place during the late fall / winter months and determines a cap on the volume of wastewater you will be billed for each month for the next year. 

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.

The Executive Management Committee (EMC) is the guiding force for the Water Partnership and its organization. It helps develop strategic goals and oversees approved joint water supply strategy evaluation and implementation. In addition, the EMC coordinates stakeholder communication. The EMC must meet quarterly, but may have additional meetings and workshops as necessary to conduct business.

The City of Austin - LCRA Water Partnership has an Executive Management Committee (EMC) representing senior staff from the City and LCRA that reports ultimately to the Austin City Council and LCRA Board of Directors.

The Water Partnership's Stakeholder Committee is a 15-member group representing the public's diverse interests and backgrounds.

Monthly and quarterly summaries of water quality parameters in finished drinking water for major industrial users. 

Austin Water delivers drinking water of the highest quality providing exceptional value and reliability. Austin Water's annual "consumer confidence reports" describe the overall quality of water from its raw collection and storage to the treated purity at your tap.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires that all drinking water suppliers provide a water quality report to their customers on an annual basis.

Austin Water is currently in Conservation Stage*. Remember to adjust your automatic sprinklers or manual watering times based on your address. Failure to follow the water restrictions may result in enforcement action, including fines of up to $500 per violation.

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).

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.