The University of Texas at Austin is permitted as an industrial user by the City of Austin and is subject to local (PDF), state and federal regulations. The main campus is a Major Industrial User (MIU) and Pickle Research Campus is a Significant Industrial User (SIU). Both designations come with permit requirements, including sample collection, monitoring of discharges to the sanitary sewer system and reporting requirements.
Failure to comply with the permit requirements can result in civil penalties, notices of violation and in severe cases, could include criminal charges.
Discharges to the Wastewater System
Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) approval is needed for discharges to the sanitary sewer system other than domestic sewage. Please allow at least seven to ten business days to process a discharge request. In some cases, sampling may be required. If the discharge request is not submitted with adequate processing time, the project management team will be responsible for containerizing the discharge contents until the discharge is approved by EHS.
Examples of permissible discharges (with EHS testing and approval):
- Discharge from HVAC or utility piping systems (Condenser, condensate, chilled or hot heating water)
- Non-toxic water-based discharge dependent upon pH. Contact EHS.
- Water (potable or non-potable)
Examples of prohibited discharges:
- Any discharge containing silt and sediment
- Any hazardous waste, hydrocarbon, volatile organic or inorganic substance, or other flammable or explosive liquid, solid or gas
- Any substance containing glycols
- Any substance containing grease, oil, or heavy metals (beyond allowed limits)
- Any regulated toxic organic compound
- Any substance with a temperature over 120 degrees F
Note: The above list only contains a few examples and is not exhaustive. Dilution is strictly prohibited when cleaning and passivating new utility piping. Pre-flush or post-flush water must not be used to dilute the proposed discharge in order to comply with prescribed effluent limits.
To submit a discharge request, you must be a UT representative possessing a current UT EID.
For additional information regarding discharges contact the EHS Department directly by calling (512) 471-3511.
Pre-treatment Device Approval
As a wastewater permittee, the university is required to regulate pre-treatment devices. As such, the installation of a pre-treatment device, such as a grease trap, grit trap, or oil water separator requires approval from EHS. The device may be installed as part of the construction of a new building or renovation of an existing space.
The first step in the approval process is to complete the Pre-Treatment Device Notification Form (PDF) along with a menu (for food establishments) and a set of final plans.
A complete overview of the pre-treatment approval process can be found at Pre-treatment Device Compliance Procedure (PDF)
- City of Austin Grease Trap Design Criteria
- City of Austin Grease Trap Sizing Criteria
- City of Austin Acceptable Grease Trap Manufacturers (PDF)
- Keeping Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) out of the Sewer System
To request a training or submit feedback, please reach out to us by calling (512) 471-3511 or send an email to EHS-EnvironmentalOps@austin.utexas.edu.
For additional training resources, please visit Environmental Programs Training.