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Wastewater System Design Requirements

Discussion of design requirements for domestic wastewater treatment systems.

Note: Do not send blueprints or full specification booklets with the Chapter 217, Summary Transmittal Letter unless as mentioned below. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will request these items by mail or fax if it is determined that a full review is required. This does not apply to wastewater projects located over the Edwards Aquifer. Full plans and specifications must be submitted to the appropriate regional office (Austin or San Antonio).

Background

Sewerage systems (domestic wastewater treatment systems) or material alterations to sewerage systems are required to be developed in accordance with state design criteria. The design criteria set minimum standards necessary for domestic wastewater treatment systems to function properly and meet requirements for effluent quality. The criteria also contain certain safety standards.

Submittal And Review Requirements

Up until January of 1996, plans and specifications (plans and specs) for all sewerage systems or material alterations to sewerage systems were required to be technically reviewed and approved by the state to ensure that they complied with design criteria. In January 1996, the TCEQ rules were modified to give TCEQ the discretion to select plans and specs on a case-by-case basis for technical review, rather than reviewing all of them. In addition, municipalities and Texas Water Development Board were given the option to review and approve projects in lieu of TCEQ.

In March 1997, the TCEQ rules were further modified by limiting the requirement for submittal of plans and specs for every project where TCEQ is the review authority and instead require submittal of a summary transmittal letterAdobe Acrobat PDF Document for each project. The summary letter must contain a written findings statement from a registered professional engineer that the plans and specs for the project are in substantial compliance with design criteria and that any deviation from the standards is based on best professional judgment. If TCEQ chooses to conduct a technical review of the plans and specs for the project, TCEQ must notify the design engineer within 30 days of receipt of the summary, and the plans and specs for the project must then be submitted to TCEQ for technical review and approval. Construction may not be initiated on projects which are designated for technical review until TCEQ has issued written approval for the plans and specs. Typically the plans and specs called in for review after the submittal of the summary transmittal letter to TCEQ are for innovative and nonconforming technology, treatment train employing an SBR or MBR, WWTP’s employing subsurface drip disposal systems under 30 TAC Chapter 222Exit TCEQ , reclaimed water treatment facilities under 30 TAC Chapter 321 PExit TCEQ and the WWTP’s with unsatisfactory compliance history. The WWTP’s coming under the above mentioned criteria shall submit the plans and specs for technical review to TCEQ along with the summary transmittal letter. The WWTP’s that are not subject to the above mentioned conditions are required to submit a summary transmittal letter and not required to submit plans and specs unless the agency demands them to be seen after the review of the summary transmittal letter. The entities operating treatment facilities and/or collection systems are required to submit a letter to TCEQ stating the provisions for emergency power to the treatment units and/or collections systems as per the 30 TAC Chapter 217.36Exit TCEQ

Design Criteria

Texas Cities with Design Approval Authority

The TCEQ is currently updating this list and therefore, what follows is a partial list only.
  • City of Austin
  • City of Carrollton
  • City of Corpus Christi
  • City of Dallas
  • City of Faith
  • City of Fort Worth
  • City of Frisco
  • City of Houston
  • City of Kerrville
  • City of McKinney
  • City of Plano
  • City of San Antonio
  • City of Sunnyvale
  • City of Wichita Falls

Design Forms and Instructions

All application forms listed below are MS Word and Adobe Acrobat PDF documents. (Help with downloading files.)

The forms may be used as refresher/training aids or to prepare for a TCEQ full technical review/Edwards Aquifer project.

  • TCEQ-00596: Organized Sewage Collection System General Construction Notes (WordMS Word Document / PDFAdobe Acrobat PDF Document)

  • TCEQ-00591: Lift Stations and Force Mains General Construction Notes (WordMS Word Document / PDFAdobe Acrobat PDF Document)

Edwards Aquifer Projects

  • TCEQ-00582: Sewage Collection Systems Application for Regulated Activities on the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone (WordMS Word Document / PDFAdobe Acrobat PDF Document)

  • TCEQ-00624: Lift Station/Force Main System Application for Regulated activities on the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone (WordMS Word Document / PDFAdobe Acrobat PDF Document)