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.

In such cases, the Wastewater Discharge Permit would only be issued on a temporary basis for up to two years as the applicant pursues the stormwater discharge permit. In cases where an applicant has unsuccessfully exhausted all efforts to obtain a stormwater permit, consideration may be granted for a Wastewater Discharge Permit that extends beyond the subscribed two-year temporary period.

The Pretreatment Program may issue a Wastewater Discharge Permit for discharges from remediation activities to the sanitary sewer system if:


  • A Wastewater Discharge Permit Application for Remediation Projects (see Forms, Applications, & Reports) is filed with the Pretreatment Program well in advance of the anticipated date of discharge.
  • Permission for direct discharge to surface water or storm sewer is being pursued (a letter from the applicant stating the status of their TCEQ surface water discharge permit application or WPDRD stormwater discharge permit application should be included with the permit application).
  • Alternative disposal methods are not feasible.
  • Engineering plans for wastewater metering is submitted and approved.
  • A wastewater only billing account is approved and established.

Permitted remediation sites shall be subject to periodic sampling and inspections by the pretreatment program. Such permits shall stipulate self-monitoring and reporting requirements as they apply to effluent limitations, sample collection, reporting schedules, record keeping, waste manifesting and more. Those wanting more information about these types of permits should contact the Pretreatment Program staff.