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Austin Water conducted a Cost of Service (COS) rate study of its water, wastewater, and reclaimed water rates in 2016. The process entailed a comprehensive review of the methodology used to allocate costs amongst customer classes and to update and improve the methods for determining fair and defensible rates of utility services. The rate study included extensive public involvement from our retail and wholesale customer class committees and the public.


Learn ways to reduce water use at your business and get information about available rebates for increasing water efficiency. Reducing water use can lower energy and wastewater costs as well. Participating in the 3C Business Challenge can also earn points toward qualifying for the Austin Green Business Leaders

The City's Backflow Prevention Ordinance requires reclaimed water customers who also have drinking water service to use a backflow prevention assembly to keep reclaimed water from contaminating the drinking water system. While our reclaimed water quality is very high, it still does not meet drinking water standards, and water from the two systems should not mix.

The Barton SoCo Reclaimed Water Main Project is part of a series of projects that will provide more reliable service to reclaimed water customers. The project will include installation of approximately 5,100 ft of 24-inch main along West Monroe St and South 1st St.

Descaling is a process that removes limescale, calcium, rust and etc. from equipment and piping to improve function and prevent equipment failure. Multi-unit chemical descale operators are permitted to complete work at temporary descale job sites. Temporary descale job sites under this program are connected to residential multi-unit properties. To conduct descaling or cleaning at an industrial or commercial facility, reference information on the Utility Piping Systems (UPS) program webpage.

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.

Commercial, multi-family, and city of Austin properties that are one-acre in size or larger must complete an irrigation system inspection every two years. An Austin Water Authorized Irrigation Inspector must perform the inspection.

Dowser Dan Hero Image

The Dowser Dan Show School Assembly Program has been bringing the message of water conservation to elementary school students in the community for 30 years.

Information for filing a claim with the City of Austin:

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.

Evaluating  Your Own Irrigation System

Performing an irrigation system evaluation can help residents set an efficient watering schedule and identify the need for system repairs and upgrades.To see how problems with your system and leaks can add up to significantly higher water bills, go here.

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).

Austin Water regulates all liquid waste haulers operating within the City of Austin's jurisdiction in accordance with City Code. The wastes regulated include sewage, water and wastewater treatment plant sludge, and wastes from septic tanks, grease traps, grit traps and portable toilets. Austin Water also operates an approved receiving station for certain types of hauled liquid wastes.

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.

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.

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.

Austin Water has constructed reclaimed water bulk water facilities at several locations within the Austin area to make reclaimed water available to customers with water hauling trucks.  The goals behind the reclaimed water bulk water facilities are to conserve potable water when the use of water can be non-potable, to minimize the use of fire hydrants for non-potable needs, and to make reclaimed water available to interested parties who do not have direct access to a City reclaimed water main via a reclaimed water meter.

Groundwater remediation projects remove pollution from groundwater, a major source of drinking water. Potential dischargers of wastewater from groundwater remediation projects must first apply to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) or the City of Austin's Watershed Protection Department (WPD) for a permit to discharge to surface water or the storm sewer system.

Conserving water has benefits beyond lowering your bill. Using less water requires less electricity for treatment services, reduces the need for expensive system expansions, and helps to ensure the availability of clean water for generations to come. As our population continues to grow, Austin Water remains committed to offering effective tools, programs, and rebates to help customers conserve one of our most precious resources – water.

Learn more about our efforts for water conservation in the:

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

AW Standard Product Lists (SPLs) specify acceptable manufacturer products for use in the construction of water, reclaimed water and wastewater facilities. These products have undergone stringent testing to ensure safety, reliability and consistency within the AW system. The Current AW SPLs are updated on a quarterly basis and Previous AW SPLs are also available.

State regulations and City ordinances require that reclaimed water users post signs at water storage tanks and hose bibs to notify people that reclaimed water is being used.

Reclaimed water customers must assure that reclaimed water plumbing is not accidentally connected to potable water plumbing. They must conduct an initial test of the integrity of both plumbing systems as required by plumbing code prior to receiving reclaimed water service. Annual testing of  plumbing system integrity is required and is usually conducted in conjunction with backflow prevention device testing.

The Travis Heights Reclaimed Water Main Project is part of a series of projects that will provide more reliable service to reclaimed water customers. The project will include installation of 4,560 ft of 24" reclaimed main begins at the intersection of Travis Heights Rd & Fairmount Ave and runs west along Fairmount, turns north along Alemeda Dr, turns west onto Woodland Ave across the Blunn Creek Greenbelt, turns north onto Eastside Dr, turns west onto W Monroe St, crosses S Congress Ave before ending at the intersection of W Monroe St & Newton St.

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


Austin Water Utility currently accepts waste sludge from area wastewater treatment plants satisfactorily meeting the City's acceptance criteria. These criteria are designed to prevent incompatible waste from interfering with the City's wastewater treatment operations.

Learn about Wastewater Averaging

Ever wonder how Austin Water calculates how much you are billed for wastewater? This helpful video explains wastewater averaging, how we calculate it and what you can do to make sure you receive the best fixed monthly wastewater rate possible.

Why does the City of Austin use a wastewater average as the basis for my wastewater bill?

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).

Water Forward is Austin’s 100-year integrated water resource plan. Water Forward is an adaptive plan to be updated on a 5-year cycle and evaluates and plans for water supply and demand management strategies for the City of Austin in a regional water supply context. Through public outreach and coordination of efforts between City departments and the Water Forward Task Force, Water Forward is a holistic and inclusive approach to water resource planning.

Austin Water delivers drinking water of the highest quality at an exceptional value. Your water is tested multiple times a day, every day, as it passed through the treatment process to ensure you receive the highest quality drinking water - every time you turn on the tap. 


Austin Water currently has three water treatment plants which draw water from the Colorado River and treat it to drinking water quality. After water is pumped from the river into the plants, it goes through several treatment steps to ensure that citizens are provided with clean and safe water.  

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. As of early 2014, properties with one or more water wells are charged a monthly fee.