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Water Quality Review and Drainage Engineering Review in the Land Use Review Division perform pre-construction review for water quality and drainage regulations for development applications to ensure compliance with the Land Development Code and Criteria Manuals.

The Water Quality and Drainage Review team initiated several recent improvements to decrease processing times related to engineering staff shortages. These include targeted reviews, additional review resources, an email address for administrative questions, and deferral of some plan review items until on-site inspections begin. These changes help use limited staff resources more efficiently while ensuring project plans still address Code requirements and sound engineering principles to protect water quality and public safety.

Applicants also can take steps to help address these impacts:

  • Be sure to include all required information and documentation when submitting your application.

  • Remember you can request a partial comments report during the review process so you can make progress across different review disciplines while staff works to complete the final elements of review. However, due to technological limitations, formal responses from an applicant are only accepted after the final comment report for that review cycle is issued. This ensures all comments in a review cycle reflect the same plan set. 
  • Additional administrative support for application guidance or pending reviews is now available by emailing WaterQualityDrainage@austintexas.gov. Staff will respond to all emails in 1-2 business days. 

The following items are reviewed:

  • The pattern and quantity of stormwater discharge to ensure no adverse flooding impacts. (Land Development Code 25-7-61)
  • The treatment of stormwater for water quality purposes to ensure compliance with Land Development Code 25-8-211.
  • Assurance that stormwater discharge does not cause downstream erosion (Land Development Code 25-7-32).
  • Determination of drainage easement requirements (Land Development Code 25-7-152).
  • Floodplain requirements (Land Development Code 25-7-33 and 25-7-92) (FEMA and City of Austin fully developed 100-yr floodplain).

Any construction, whether site or building, requires a permit before construction begins. Public infrastructure such as streets and utilities must be accepted before building permits are issued for new subdivisions.

Atlas 14 & Flood Risk

The National Weather Service has completed a historical rainfall study called Atlas 14. This study shows Central Texas is more likely to experience larger storms than previously thought.

Read Flood Risk and ATLAS 14: OVERVIEW to see what the City is doing.
Review the Guidance Document for Proposed Atlas 14 Code Amendments and Drainage Criteria Rules.


The Land Development Information Services staff, previously known as the Development Assistance Center (DAC), can answer questions about drainage and water quality development applications and requirements for commercial, multi-family, or residential properties. 

  • For active or existing flooding issues or concerns, contact 3-1-1.
  • This appointment is not for questions about floodplain regulations, please contact Floodpro@austintexas.gov.
  • For questions about retaining walls, please contact Alan Woo (alan.woo@austintexas.gov).

Expected Appointment Duration: 20 minutes

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