Reclaimed water is recycled from wastewater generated by homes and businesses and treated for non-potable uses. Below you can find out important information on who is required to comply and how the permitting process works.

What is reclaimed water?

Reclaimed water is recycled from wastewater generated by homes and businesses and treated for non-potable uses. Though reclaimed water is not used in the drinking water supply, it meets many of the criteria for drinking water. This water is clear and has no noticeable odor. It is harmless to humans through normal contact. It meets all state and federal laws for non-potable use.

Reclaimed water is also less expensive to use or treat and can cost as little as one-half the price of drinking water. Users can see a reduction in water fees.

Why is reclaimed water important?

In 2018, City Council adopted Water Forward, Austin’s 100-year integrated water resource plan, which includes development of new water supplies with an emphasis on water conservation and water reuse. Requiring and expanding use of reclaimed water within new commercial development projects is one of the strategies that will build our resilience against climate change by diversifying our water supply.

Although reclaimed water connection requirements have been in effect since 2015, in September 2021, the City of Austin adopted amendments to Section 25-9 of the Land Development Code that updated them.

Who must comply?

Commercial, multifamily and mixed use developments  within 250 feet of the City’s reclaimed water mains must connect to the reclaimed water system for non-potable needs like toilet flushing, irrigation and cooling. The mandatory reclaimed connection distance increases to 500 feet for large development projects with 250,000 square feet or more of gross floor area.

To determine if this ordinance applies to your project refer to the reclaimed pipe network in Austin Water’s Records Access Application (RAA), an online GIS viewer available to organizations external to City of Austin, or email If you do not already have access to RAA, you may request it here. A Service Extension Request is needed for properties greater than 100 feet from the reclaimed water system.

How to obtain new project approval?

  1. Site Plan Approval
    • Submit Meter Demand sheet & Site Plan sheets.
      Complete reclaimed meter demand sheet and get it approved. Include approved sheet in Site Plan with plan set with reclaimed deign per UCM requirements. Resources for site plan submission are available on the AW Pipeline Engineering page.
    • Obtain AULCC approval if required.
      AULCC review is required by applicants that will excavate 25 feet or greater in the Downtown Austin Project Coordination Zone (DAPCZ) or excavate 300 feet or greater in the Full-Purpose City of Austin jurisdiction. 
  2. Building Permit Approval
    • Submit an Alternative Water System Permit application to the Austin Water Special Services Division. This division can also approve Alternate Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) for cross connection testing for a project that do not require a building to be without water service for a substantial amount of time, such as dye injection testing or flowable fill.
    • Approval of a Commercial Plan Review by the City of Austin - Development Services Department (DSD) is required before DSD will issue a construction permits.
  3. Construction Inspections
  4. Annual testing


Frequently Asked Questions

Reclaimed Water Tap Permit Application

Design considerations for toilets and urinals

Reclaimed Bulk Water Facility

Voluntary Reclaimed Water Connection

Reclaimed Permitting Webinar

GoPurple Program Regulations and Affordability Strategies Webinar