Austin Water’s Excellence in Pretreatment Award honors distinguished Significant Industrial Users (SIUs) who exhibit environmental stewardship by proactively preventing pollution and managing wastewater discharge. This award is part of our P2 pollution prevention program, which partners with local businesses to reduce pollution and minimize waste.

Pretreatment Award winners clear a very high bar for pollution prevention excellence. For all Austin industrial waste generators, meeting effluent quality standards typically requires more than just a properly designed, operated, and maintained pretreatment system. The City must meet stringent water quality standards because TCEQ has designated Austin’s segment of the Colorado River for exceptional aquatic life use, contact recreation and public water supply. Meeting these standards is possible only because Austin Water Utility and local businesses work together to strictly control wastewater discharge.

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Pretreatment Award winners go beyond meeting effluent quality requirements by devoting significant time and attention to self-monitoring and reporting requirements, carefully designing a pollution prevention strategy, training staff and encouraging active participation throughout the organization. Award winners must meet the following criteria during the permit year:

  1. The permit holder must meet the EPA’s definition of Significant Industrial User (SIU) and must be in operation and permitted the entire permit year.
  2. The SIU must meet all permit sampling and reporting requirements.
  3. The SIU may not have any pollutant discharge that causes a pass through, interference or other significantly negative effect on the wastewater collection or treatment system.
  4. The SIU may not have any accidental or slug discharge to the City’s sanitary or storm sewers.
  5. The SIU may not violate any mass or concentration effluent standards and must comply  with the following criteria with regard to pH:
  • SIUs that do not monitor pH continuously may not violate any pH effluent limitations.
  • SIUs that do monitor pH continuously may not discharge from any regulated outfall wastewater with a recorded pH that is less than or equal to 4.0 or greater than or equal to 12.0.
  • The discharge from any continuously monitored regulated outfall may not include any individual excursion from pH limits that lasts longer than 60 minutes
  • For continuously monitored regulated outfalls, the total time in a year during which measured pH values do not comply with applicable limits may not exceed eight hours and 46 minutes.

We want to acknowledge and thank the award winners for their hard work, dedication and environmental stewardship and congratulate them for attaining excellence. We encourage the continuation of their efforts to improve effluent quality and to protect and conserve our water resources.