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Utilities and Districts

Links to information about the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's regulation of water utilities and water districts.


arrow_red.jpg Water Utility Programs Transferring to the PUC
On Sept. 1, 2014, the TCEQ will transfer responsibility for the water utility rate and certificate of convenience and necessity programs to the Public Utility Commission of Texas. The PUC will handle applications for the programs they will be regulating, but applicants must still comply with all associated TCEQ rules and requirements.

The TCEQ is responsible for the general supervision and oversight of districts and utilities, including the processing of petitions to create districts and applications to approve utility service areas. In addition, the agency maintains approval authority over many utility matters including the review of most district bond issues and of the rates charged by privately owned and member-owned utilities.

Under the jurisdiction granted by the Texas Legislature in these areas, TCEQ staff from the Utilities and Districts Section do a variety of tasks including:

Assistance for Consumers and Utilities

For inquiries about customer service and protection rules please call 512/239-6100, or contact us by E-mail. The following RG-210 provides information on how TCEQ may assist various water or wastewater utilities and customers.

Capacity Development: Assistance for Public Water and Wastewater Systems

The Capacity Development program provides assistance with Financial, Managerial and Technical (FMT) to make improvements to comply with regulations. Please visit the "Assistance for Public Water and Wastewater Systems" website.

Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CCN) Service Areas

A CCN authorizes and requires utility systems to provide continuous and adequate service to every customer who requests service to a certificated area. Please visit the Rules and Guidance for Water Utilities website available with links, instructions, and forms.

Establishing a New Water Utility

Please visit the following website for details of basic steps to determine whether there is a need to establish a new water or sewer utility.

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Plan Review for Proposed Public Water Systems

For proposed plans and specifications for public water systems is to ensure the proper design is available related to public water systems before construction begins. The following "Public Water System Plan Review" website explains the process of reviewing technical plans for public water systems.

Regional Certification: Tax Exemption for Water and Sewer Utilities

A utility may qualify for tax exemption under Texas Water Code Section §15.001(13) and §151.355. Please visit the "Regional Certification website" for details on the type of criteria water and sewer utilities must meet. A sample letter to request certification and a list of providers already certified is also available.

Revenue and Regulatory Assessment Reporting

Information is available on the regulatory assessment fee that investor-owned utilities, water districts, and water supply corporations collect from their retail customers.

Supervision to Assist with Monitoring of Water District Activities

Publications for Water Districts are available to assist water district activities and the compliance of state laws. The website provides information to customers, consultants, board members, and employees. Applications and petitions to appoint district boards are also available.

The Creation of Districts

A water district is a local, governmental entity that provides limited services to its customers and residents, such as: Municipal Utility Districts, Water Control and Improvement Districts, Special Utility Districts and River Authorities. General Guidance is available by accessing Chapter 293. General information concerning water districts are found at the following: website.

The Review of Bonds for Districts

  • Monitor water district activities and their compliance with state laws;
  • Provide information to customers, consultants, board members, and employees;
  • Review applications and petitions for appointment to district boards.

For more information on developing bond applications, the Forms and Documents website is available.

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The Water Utility Database

The Water Utility Database is a collection of data with details for Texas water districts, public drinking water systems, water and sewer utilities, and rental properties to show how they bill tenants for water or sewer service. This database may be used to search for the names of these entities, their addresses, the counties in which they are located, applications they have filed with the TCEQ, maps of their service areas, and other relevant information. For additional information the Water Utility Database Web Guide Adobe Acrobat PDF Document is available.

Water and Wastewater Submetering or Allocation

The "Submetering or Allocation website" provides a description and explanation of submetered and allocated utility billing.

Yearly Financial and Annual Reporting Requirements Submitted by Districts, Investor or Privately Owned Utilities

Review audit, financial, and revenue reports submitted by districts and investor- or privately owned utilities. The following publications and forms contain information on reporting requirements. These are PDF files.

Staff Contact

For more information you may e-mail your questions or comments to You can also call our main Water Supply Division line at 512-239-4691.

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