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.


Utility piping systems include chillers, boilers, and condensers used by commercial and industrial buildings, high-rises, schools, and universities to cool and heat the buildings and etc. A permit is required to prevent excessive chemicals and/or leaching of metals into the sanitary sewer system from the use of certain cleaners, detergents, and corrosion inhibitors.

Work that Requires a Permit

  • Cleaning, flushing, and/or passivation of new utility piping systems
  • Cleaning, coil cleaning, descaling, draining, and/or flushing of existing utility piping systems

Work must be done by a permitted Utility Piping Systems (UPS) provider.

If you are a chemical or water treatment provider and would like to obtain a UPS Discharge Permit, please submit an application least 30 days prior to your first planned discharge.

Operational Requirements

  • Advance Notification of Planned Projects
    A permittee shall provide notice to the Special Services Division (SSD) of a planned utility piping systems project at least 24 hours prior to the commencement of operations.
  • Standard Operating Procedures
    A permittee shall develop, implement, and make available for review an up-to-date standard operating procedure (SOP).  A copy of the SOP must be maintained at each jobsite. 
  • Spill Prevention
    A permittee shall take all measures necessary to ensure that all drains, cleanouts, manholes, retention ponds, diversion ditches, and any other potential channels for the introduction of chemical spills to the sanitary sewer or watershed are adequately protected to prevent an accidental or slug discharge.
  • Cross-Connection Prohibited
    In accordance with Austin City Code Chapters 15-1 and 25-12 and the Uniform Plumbing Code, a reduced pressure principle backflow prevention assembly (RPBA) is required for any connection to a potable water supply during the cleaning, passivating, conditioning, and/or descaling of process piping.  This includes both internal protection and premises isolation.

Reporting Requirements

A permittee shall submit to the SSD periodic Self-Monitoring Reports (SMRs) indicating the nature and concentration of pollutants in the effluent from UPS Projects.

Monitoring Period Report Due Date
July 1 through December 31 January 31
January 1 through June 30 July 31

Options for Non-Compliant Wastewater

If analytical data shows one or more pollutants are above the limits, then the wastewater must be hauled off-site for proper disposal or treated on-site to less than the permit concentration limit(s) before discharge.

  1. If hauling off-site, a manifest from the waste hauler showing proper disposal must be submitted with the Self-Monitoring Report (SMR). 
  2. If treating on-site, SSD must be notified of the treatment method and analytical must be done after treatment to ensure compliance with limits before final discharge.

Forms & Resources