Office of Water
L’Oreal W. Stepney, P.E., Deputy Director
The Office of Water is responsible for the implementation of the following major programs:
- Public Drinking Water
- Water Rights
- Interstate River Compacts
- Districts and Utilities
- Groundwater Protection
- Texas Surface Water Quality Standards
- Nonpoint Source Program
- Wastewater, Storm Water, and Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation Permitting
- Surface Water Quality Monitoring
- Watershed Protection Plans and Total Maximum Daily Loads
- Galveston Bay Estuary Program
Kellye Rila, Director
- Processes water rights permits and amendments.
- Maintains water-availability models for all river basins.
- Reviews water-conservation plans and drought contingency plans.
- Performs groundwater quality planning and assessments.
- Supports the interagency Texas Groundwater Protection Committee and the Texas Groundwater Protection Strategy.
- Manages the state's plan for preventing groundwater pollution from pesticides and the state’s program for the identification of priority groundwater-management areas.
- Ensures compliance, through the watermaster programs, with water rights by monitoring stream flows, reservoir levels, and water use.
- Supports interstate river compacts.
David Galindo, Director
The Water Quality Division is responsible for protecting the quality of water in Texas. This division:
- Issues wastewater authorizations under the Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System and the Texas Land Application Permit program.
- Issues sludge permits, registrations, and authorizations for sewage and water-treatment plants.
- Develops procedures to implement the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards.
- Updates the Water Quality Management Plan.
- Issues permits to control pollution from concentrated animal-feeding operations and storm water runoff.
- Reviews state water quality certifications of Clean Water Act Section 404 permit applications for federally regulated dredging and filling activities administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
- Administers the pretreatment program, which regulates industrial discharges into publicly owned treatment works.
- Issues authorizations for reuse of treated wastewater effluent.
- Reviews wastewater-system plans and specifications to ensure they meet design requirements.
Water Quality Planning
Kelly Holligan, Director
The goals of the Water Quality Planning Division are to assess, protect, and improve the quality of Texas surface water resources.
Planning and Implementation Section
- Implements statewide and regional planning to safeguard surface water quality.
- Works with stakeholders to develop and implement watershed-based plans for water affected by nonpoint source pollution.
- Administers EPA grants that support prevention and reduction of nonpoint source pollution.
- Develops TMDLs, which determine the amount of a pollutant that a water body can assimilate daily and still meet water quality standards.
- Works with other TCEQ programs to evaluate the best approach for restoring impaired water resources, and develops plans to meet pollutant-reduction goals in TMDLs.
- Implement scientific, strategic plans developed by their communities to protect and improve the quality of bay systems.
- Encourage and support wetland and habitat protection.
Monitoring and Assessment Section
- Develops and revises the standards for surface water quality in Texas.
- Works with other TCEQ water programs to implement the standards through permits, TMDLs, and monitoring and assessment.
- Coordinates the monitoring and assessment of surface water resources and oversees the statewide network of monitoring sites.
- Reports the status of water quality in the biennial Texas Integrated Report for Clean Water Act Sections 305(b) and 303(d) (formerly the Texas Water Quality Inventory and List).
- Develops guidelines that ensure data quality and scientifically sound assessment of water quality in relation to the standards.
The Clean Rivers Program:
- Coordinates with the SWQM program and a partnership of regional governmental agencies to monitor water quality and establish priorities for future monitoring and corrective action.
- Promotes cooperative watershed planning and recommends effective water-quality management strategies.
- Develops and revises the Data Management Reference Guide.
- Manages the Surface Water Quality Monitoring Information System and coordinates data management and analysis with all monitoring partners.
Sixteen TCEQ regional field offices and EPA Region VI submit samples to the TCEQ’s Houston Laboratory for analysis. This lab:
- Analyzes samples of water, wastewater, soils, sediments, and sludge.
- Develops analytical procedures and supports special investigations, projects, and monitoring activities through cooperative agreements with other agencies.
- Is accredited by the NELAP Institute as meeting national standards developed by the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program.
Linda Brookins, Director
The Water Supply Division is responsible for programs that ensure the efficient administration of surface water and groundwater use; the production, treatment, delivery and protection of safe and adequate drinking water; and the provision of dependable, viable utility service at fair levels of compensation. The division performs the following functions:
- Oversees the production, treatment, quality and delivery of drinking water for the public by implementation of the Safe Drinking Water Act.
- Assesses and protects sources of public drinking water.
- Offers technical assistance on the design and operation of public water systems.
- Guides public water systems on homeland-security preparation, response, and recovery.
- Reviews applications for rate changes, certificates of convenience and necessity, utility sales, district creation, and district bond issues.
- Reviews engineering plans for new or significantly modified public water systems or exceptions to TCEQ rules.
- Assesses the financial, managerial, and technical capabilities of public water systems.
- Manages the Water Utilities Database and the Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS).