Decentralized wastewater systems are not connected to the City’s central wastewater collection system conveying wastewater to the two wastewater treatment plants. This may include many system sizes, including individual onsite systems, clusters of homes each with septic tanks and a common final treatment and disposal system, or larger developments served by either conventional or alternative treatment and disposal systems.

The project's Executive Summary identified treatment and disposal systems with the use of a map of general land types, fact sheets and evaluation matrices. The Project also discusses various management models and structures and makes recommendations for demonstration and monitoring of select systems for the local area. Three principal considerations are:

  • Providing sufficient environmental and public health protection
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Meeting planning needs of the City, including providing what may be considered "comparable" wastewater service

Click here to see frequently asked questions concerning decentralized wastewater systems. There is also a video available entitled Decentralized Wastewater Management. Other information on OSSF management programs across the U.S. can be found at the National Small Flows Clearinghouse. Additional sources of information include:

  • National Small Flows Clearinghouse
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Response to Congress on Use of Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems (April 1997)
  • Reports prepared by the Ad hoc Task Force for Decentralized Wastewater Management, managed by the MARINE STUDIES CONSORTIUM in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

Contact Us

For information about the City of Austin Water Utility's decentralized wastewater management program development, contact:

Utility Development Services Division/OSSF Austin Water Utility

625 E. 10th St. Suite 715 Austin, TX 78701

Phone: 512.972.0207