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). The TCEQ has issued the Austin Water Utility a Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) permit for each of its wastewater treatment plants that discharge treated effluent into surface waters. Under the TPDES program, the TCEQ establishes the effluent limits to protect the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards. The Austin Water Utility conducts frequent monitoring of effluent from its wastewater treatment plants and submits a monthly Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) to the TCEQ for each plant. The Utility takes pride in its history of consistently treating wastewater to a better level than that required by the TPDES permits.