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In 2008, Austin Water conducted a comprehensive study to update and improve its methods for determining fair and defensible rates for its services.

As a collaborative partnership with Austin Water, the Joint Committee will assist in developing recommendations for short-term and long-term financial plans to strengthen the financial stability of Austin Water Utility.

Austin Water conducted a Cost of Service (COS) rate study of its water, wastewater, and reclaimed water rates in 2016. The process entailed a comprehensive review of the methodology used to allocate costs amongst customer classes and to update and improve the methods for determining fair and defensible rates of utility services. The rate study included extensive public involvement from our retail and wholesale customer class committees and the public.


Learn ways to reduce water use at your business and get information about available rebates for increasing water efficiency. Reducing water use can lower energy and wastewater costs as well. Participating in the 3C Business Challenge can also earn points toward qualifying for the Austin Green Business Leaders

Alternative water sources include highly treated reclaimed water from Austin Water’s wastewater treatment plants, and onsite water sources such as rainwater, graywater, condensate and stormwater. 


The graph below shows Austin's current daily water usage in million gallons per day (MGD). The demand trigger for implementing Stage 2 Water Restrictions is usage that reaches 320 MGD for one day or 300 MGD for three days in a row.

Austin Water’s commission and task force are important in that they enable citizens to participate in Austin's government processes.

The City of Austin and Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) have a Water Partnership to assess water use, implement water conservation strategies and ensure water quality for Austin and the surrounding area. The long-term plan is to ensure up to 250,000 acre-feet of additional water for Austin through 2100.

Commercial, multi-family, and city of Austin properties that are one-acre in size or larger must complete an irrigation system inspection every two years. An Austin Water Authorized Irrigation Inspector must perform the inspection.

The Cross Connection/Water Protection Program administers local, state and federal regulations to protect health and safety of the public water supply. Our program works to prevent cross connections by ensuring safeguards are in place to protect the public water system from contamination hazards. We also work to prevent unauthorized use or damage to fire hydrants to ensure constant fire suppression capabilities.

To file a claim with the City of Austin, you should send a letter addressed to: City of Austin Law Department P.O. Box 1546 Austin, TX 78767-1546  

Commercial, manufacturing, or trade establishments (including nonprofits, government agencies, and businesses) must obtain a permit to discharge industrial waste into the City’s sanitary sewer system. Most industrial waste producers will fall in the general industrial user category. If you have already obtained one, you may follow this link to print your current General Industrial User permit.

Our Industrial Waste Pretreatment Program ensures that local, state and federal regulations are met regarding the quality of wastewater discharged into the City’s wastewater system. Area businesses are required to install, operate and adequately maintain pretreatment devices and/or systems to remove pollutants that could otherwise damage or obstruct the wastewater collection system or interfere with the wastewater treatment process.

Austin Water trata el agua potable a los más altos estándares para proporcionar un valor excepcional y fiabilidad.


Performing an irrigation system evaluation can help residents set an efficient watering schedule and identify the need for system repairs and upgrades.


You may schedule a Free Irrigation System Evaluation by a licensed irrigator from Austin Water if you:

Boats, marinas and shore facilities in the City of Austin must comply with local, state and federal laws to insure that sewage is managed appropriately and the City’s water supply is protected (Austin City Code, Chapter  6-5, Article 3).

Austin Water regulates all liquid waste haulers operating within the City of Austin's jurisdiction in accordance with City Code. Changes to these rules are proposed (see information under news items below). The wastes regulated include sewage, water and wastewater treatment plant sludge, and wastes from septic tanks, grease traps, grit traps and portable toilets.

A clean environment while serving food is good for your customers and your community. Waste water from your mobile food business must be disposed of properly to avoid clogging sewer lines or polluting the environment. Even on the go, there is much you can do to protect the environment and avoid fines.

By definition, a political subdivision can set its own rules within its jurisdiction. Given the importance of the Austin City Code as the enforcement authority behind our Pretreatment Program, a political subdivision in the Austin Water Utility service area discharging wastewater to the City presents a special concern. These concerns are compounded if the political subdivision receives any industrial sources of wastewater within its jurisdiction.

Wastewater surcharges are charged to businesses that discharge wastewater exceeding “normal” wastewater standards. Business wastewater can be more heavily concentrated with solids and organic matter than residential wastewater, making it more expensive to treat. 

A Private Lateral (P-Lat) is the wastewater line that connects a building to the City’s wastewater system. A P-Lat is not owned by the City. The Austin Water Utility performs investigations of P-Lats for City retail wastewater customers when there is a wastewater overflow or blockage on private property or when there is a problem with the City’s wastewater system that could affect P-Lat.

Renewing Austin is an ongoing program to replace and upgrade aging water lines.

Commercial customers who currently pay a wastewater surcharge may request that their business be resampled and their surcharge reassessed. The wastewater surcharge only applies to permitted businesses discharging extra-strength wastewater. 

Austin Water regularly performs sewer system smoke testing throughout the City of Austin to help locate defects and improve the sanitary sewer services.

Significant Industrial Users (SIUs) are industrial waste producers that, by federal definition, require a specific level of regulatory attention. SIUs must meet self-monitoring and reporting requirements for effluent limitations, sample collection, reporting schedules, record keeping, and hazardous materials management.

Austin Water’s Standard Products List specifies acceptable manufacturer products for use in the construction of water and wastewater facilities. These products have undergone stringent testing to ensure the safety, reliability and consistency within the Austin Water system.

Work to utility piping systems must be permitted or have temporary authorization by Austin Water to discharge into the sanitary sewer system, even if the building has a wastewater discharge permit.

Wastewater averaging is a way for you to save money. Wastewater averaging takes place during the late fall / winter months and determines a cap on the volume of wastewater you will be billed for each month for the next year. 

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).

On September 11, 2018, The Austin City Council voted to pass an ordinance updating impact fees that can be assessed by Austin Water. The vote was the culmination of over a year of public outreach and stakeholder input on how best to structure the fees, coordinated through the Impact Fee Advisory Committee.


The Executive Management Committee (EMC) is the guiding force for the Water Partnership and its organization. It helps develop strategic goals and oversees approved joint water supply strategy evaluation and implementation. In addition, the EMC coordinates stakeholder communication. The EMC must meet quarterly, but may have additional meetings and workshops as necessary to conduct business.

The City of Austin - LCRA Water Partnership has an Executive Management Committee (EMC) representing senior staff from the City and LCRA that reports ultimately to the Austin City Council and LCRA Board of Directors.

The Water Partnership's Stakeholder Committee is a 15-member group representing the public's diverse interests and backgrounds.

Monthly and quarterly summaries of water quality parameters in finished drinking water for major industrial users. 

Austin Water delivers drinking water of the highest quality providing exceptional value and reliability. Austin Water's annual "consumer confidence reports" describe the overall quality of water from its raw collection and storage to the treated purity at your tap. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires that all drinking water suppliers provide a water quality report to their customers on an annual basis.

Austin Water is currently in Conservation Stage Water Restrictions. Find your watering day(s) based on your address.

Customers of the City of Austin Water Utility (Utility) receive their drinking water from two water treatment plants that pump surface water from the Colorado River as it flows into Lake Austin. The City of Austin treats and filters the water according to federal and state standards to remove any possible harmful contaminants.

The Austin Water Utility and our paying customers are victims of millions of gallons of water annually stolen from fire hydrants.

WTP4, Austin Water’s newest water treatment plant is completed.  The plant, which is located on Lake Travis, is capable of treating 50 million gallons a day (mgd) with room to expand to 300 mgd. This investment will add reliability by giving utility customers an additional plant that draws from Lake Travis instead of Lake Austin, save energy in serving the north and northwest Desired Development Zone, and provide for continuous service during shutdowns and repairs of Austin Water’s two other treatment plants and aging pump stations which are critical to getting water to customers.

The City of Austin adopted Ordinance No. 20121011-005 which went into effect on Oct. 22, 2012. This ordinance (now Chapter 15-12 of the Austin City Code) includes registration requirements that apply in conjunction with the drilling of water wells, the installation of water well pumps and other closely related activities. Starting early in 2014, properties with one or more water wells will be charged a monthly fee.