Rules and Guidance for Water Utilities
If you want to start a water or sewer utility, you should become familiar with TCEQ rules and requirements. There are several different types of water and sewer utilities that are regulated in different ways based on state law.
Effective after September 1, 2011, applications for CCN/STM, and Rate related no longer require a filing fee.
TCEQ will provide upon request and at a reasonable cost, electronic copies of all information provided to the agency under Texas Water Code Chapters 13.016, 13.043, and 13.187, to the extent that the information is available and not confidential.
Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CCN's)
A Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CCN) gives a CCN holder the exclusive right to provide retail water and/or wastewater service to an identified geographic area. Chapter 13, Texas Water Code requires a CCN holder to provide continuous and adequate service to a certificated area.
Municipalities and districts normally are not required to have a CCN; however some municipalities and districts do have a CCN. A district or Municipality may not provide services within an area for which another utility holds a CCN unless the district or city has a CCN itself to provide services to that area.
Water and sewer utilities are certificated to various types of service areas. The most common are (but not limited to):
- Bounded Service Areas. Areas that form closed boundaries. Often the boundaries follow identifiable physical and cultural features such as roads, rivers, streams and political boundaries.
- Facilities+200 Feet. Utility service areas represented by lines but include a buffer of the specified number of feet, usually 200 feet. The lines can, but may not correspond to distribution lines or facilities in the ground and normally follow along roads.
- Facilities Only. A "point of use" service area that covers only the customer connections at the time the CCN was granted. Facility Only service lines can, but may not correspond to the location of utility's distribution lines in the ground.
- Frequently Asked Questions about Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CCN's)
- Applications and Instructions for CCN's
- Applications and Instructions for a Sale, Transfer, or Mergers (STM's)
- Applications, Instructions, and Documents for Rate Changes
- Applications for an Exempt Utility
- Applications for a CCN Under 13.255
- Applications to Request to Discontinue (and Cancel) a CCN
- Water and Sewer Tariff Forms
- Submitting A CCN Service Area Boundary Map
- Rules and Publications for Utilities
- How to contact us?
Frequently Asked Questions about CCNs:
What happens when CCNs overlap?
Dual certification occurs when CCN areas overlap. In areas of dual certification, the customer has a choice of which utility to request service from, as long as all the required extensions and connection fees are paid to the utility of choice.
Who provides water or sewer service to my property?
The Water Utilities Map Viewer enables users to view, print and download retail water and sewer utility and district service provider boundaries. In addition, the viewer allows users to determine if there are existing retail utility and district service providers for a particular site or area.
To help identify the water and/or sewer providers in a particular area fill out (TCEQ-10427) / then fax or send by e-mail. On the subject line write: "Attention Mapping Staff".
For more details about the viewer and how to use the viewer, the following Water Utilities Map Viewer Web-Page is available.
Applications and Instructions for a CCN
- Water or Sewer Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CCN)
Applications and Instructions for a Sale, Transfer, or Merger
Applications, Instructions, and Documents for Rate Changes
- Rate/Tariff Change - Utilities cost of service, depreciation, and a rate of return for investor-owned utilities.
- Appeal of the Cost of Obtaining Service from a Water Supply Corporation (TCEQ-10420) /
- Cash Needs Application - Utilities cost of service, depreciation expense, and a reasonable cash reserve. Please call (512)239-4691 for more information.
Applications for an Exempt Utility
- Applications for Exempt Utility Registration (TCEQ-10414) / - For utilities and water supply corporations with fewer than 15 potential connections.
Applications for a CCN Under 13.255
- Applications to Obtain or Amend a Water or Sewer Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CCN) Under Water Code Section 13.255 (TCEQ-20458) /
- For more details the Water Code 13.255 website is available.
Applications to Request to Discontinue (and Cancel) a CCN
Water and Sewer Tariff Forms
Submitting a CCN Service Area Boundary Map
Rules and Publications for Water Utilities
If the publication you are interested in is not available here, you can visit the TCEQ Publications Catalog website.
- Appealing a Rate Change Decision (RG-024)
- Chapter 290 Public Drinking Water
- Chapter 291 Utility Regulations
- Establishing a Consumers Group (GI-045)
- The Feasibility of Regionalizing Water and Wastewater Utilities: A TCEQ Policy Statement (RG-357)
- Meter Tampering (RG-302)
- One Meter per Residence Requirements available in English/Spanish (RG-219)
- Regulatory Assessments Collected by Retail Public Utilities (RG-199)
- Resources for Texas Water and Wastewater Utilities (RG-220)
- Saving Water Saves Money (GI-400)
- Sources of Help for Utilities and Their Customers (RG-247)
- Surcharging Customers of Investor-Owned Utilities for Sampling and Inspection Fees (RG-249)
- System of Accounts for Water and Wastewater Utilities with 200 or More Connections (RG-354)
- TCEQ Jurisdiction over Utility Rates and Service Policies (RG-245)
- Utility Funding and Rate Design (GI-257)
- Water and Sewer Utility Stock Transfers Approval Requirements (RG-246)
How to contact us?
Questions or requests for additional information can be sent to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. To help speed up our response, please be as specific as possible regarding your question or request. Include the names and numbers for the CCNs in question. Please provide your name, address, phone number, and the best way to contact you. You can also call our main Water Supply Division line at 512-239-4691.