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.

Typically, a political subdivision with no sources of industrial wastewater would not be required to have a Wastewater Discharge Permit. Special circumstances unique to a political subdivision, however, may trigger the need for such a permit. One notable example would be a requirement to perform sulfide monitoring. The combined discharge from a political subdivision to the City is subject to pretreatment standards, and compliance with all discharge limitations is required whether the political subdivision is required to have a permit or not.

Conversely, every political subdivision with any internal source of industrial waste must obtain a Wastewater Discharge Permit prior to any discharge into the City of Austin. The control of internal sources of industrial waste within a political subdivision is not possible unless it adopts rules of its own. Therefore, as a prerequisite for the permit, the political subdivision would be required create its own pretreatment authority to enforce standards at least as stringent as Chapter 15-10 of the Austin City Code. To meet these requirements, each political subdivision must either:

  1. Enter into an inter-local agreement with the City of Austin for pretreatment program services.
  2. Enforce its own industrial waste rules.
  3. Hire a third party contractor to enforce its rules.