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Emergency Preparedness Plan Homepage

An Emergency Preparedness Plan (EPP) is a packet of information that an affected utility submits to TCEQ for review and approval. The plan applies to affected utilities and contains information about the water system and how it operates under emergency conditions. The plan proposes to TCEQ how the affected utility will maintain a water pressure of 20 or 35 psi (pounds per square inch) throughout the distribution system when the power has been off for more than 24 hours during an emergency and contains emergency contact information.

Statewide EPPs

What is the Enabling Legislation?

Texas Water Code 13.1394(a) defines “affected utilities” which applies to water systems serving customers outside of Harris and Fort Bend Counties. SB 3 requires systems meeting the definition of affected utilities to develop and implement an Emergency Preparedness Plan or “EPP”. EPPs and the associated timelines for implementation are required to be submitted to TCEQ for review by March 1, 2022 and are required to be implemented by July 1, 2022 according to Senate Bill 3 (see Section 36 on page 48).

EPP Template

NEW Emergency Preparedness Plan Template Microsoft Word Document Form-20536B and instructions (For all Counties except Fort Bend and Harris Counties). This template was updated for clarity on June 16, 2022. If you are working off the initial version of the template you are NOT required to use the updated template.

NEW If you need assistance with the EPP template please fill out the EPP Help Form and TCEQ will contact you via email or phone to work with you.

If you need assistance filling out your EPP please contact or see the FMT webpage for more information.

Why is an Emergency Preparedness Plan Required?

Texas Water Code 13.1394 , requires all water systems located outside of Harris and Fort Bend Counties with residential customers or that provide overnight accommodations at their facility, to provide water service with a minimum of 20 psi during an extended power outage lasting 24 hours or more.

Who is Affected?

Affected utility is defined as a retail public utility, exempt utility, or provider or conveyor of potable or raw water service that furnishes water service to more than one customer; and is not an affected utility in Harris and Fort Bend Counties under Section 13.1395 of the TWC. Furthermore, Section 13.1394 also requires water systems providing water under emergency conditions during an extended power outage must do so at a minimum water pressure of 20 psi.

What Water Systems are an Affected Utility?

All water systems that have residential customers or provide overnight accommodations to customers are affected. Therefore, water systems that provide water to customers that are either full-time or temporary residents of their water system will be required to submit an EPP for approval and implementation.

Examples include:

    • Public Water Systems with residential customers
    • Hospitals
    • Assisted living homes
    • Nursing homes
    • Prisons and Detainment Centers (overnight)
    • Hotels, motels, resorts, universities or boarding schools with dorms, marinas with occupied houseboats, and 24-hour daycares
    • Recovery Centers
    • RV-Parks and recreation areas with overnight camping access

What Water Systems Are Not an Affected Utility?

If your water system is a non-community system without overnight accommodations, you will not be affected by this requirement.

Examples include:

    • Schools (without dormitories)
    • Daycare Centers
    • Restaurants
    • Industrial plants/complexes
    • Office Buildings
    • Banks
    • Churches (without overnight accommodations)

How Do I Get My EPP Approved?

To be approved, an EPP must demonstrate that the affected utility can operate and or restore operating pressures of 20 psi under TWC Section 13.1394 as soon as it is safe and practicable during a water outage lasting more than 24 hours. You must submit the EPP to TCEQ for review and approval. If the EPP cannot be approved, TCEQ will send you a letter indicating what items need clarification and or correction so the EPP can be approved.

What are the Deadlines to Submit the EPP?

Affected utilities defined under TWC Section 13.1394

      • Submit EPP by March 1, 2022
      • Implement EPP by July 1, 2022

Can the Requirement to Submit an EPP be Waived?

Yes. An affected utility may apply for a financial waiver to the EPP requirement if the affected utility can show that implementing an EPP will cause a significant financial burden to its customers. To obtain a waiver, an affected utility must submit documentation showing the actual costs of running the water system and anticipated cost of implementing an EPP. Then must show how the combined costs would be a significant burden on to its customers.

RG-553 is a guidance provides information on documentation required to request a waiver to the requirement for an emergency preparedness plan, if it is determined that implementing an EPP causes a significant financial burden on customers of the affected utility.

Submitting a waiver request will not automatically extend the deadline to submit your EPP.

To request a waiver email a letter with all the required documentation to:

My EPP is Approved, Now What Do I Do?

Now that you have an approved EPP, and the approval letter, it’s time to implement your plan. Your water system must maintain a copy of the EPP approval letter and the approved EPP. Both documents must be made available to TCEQ staff during inspections as required.

What Other Agencies Require a Copy of Your Approved EPP?

An affected utility with an approved EPP is required to provide a copy to their local county judge or their local county office of emergency management, the Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC), and the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) see TWC 13.1396 Coordination of Emergency Operations . Furthermore, an affected utility is also required to inform their electrical service provider(s), the PUC, and TDEM with information to determine if the affected utility meets the requirements of critical load status.

PUC of Texas Filing Information:

Included below are two weblinks; one for the Confidential filing procedures for the PUC use Docket No. 52272, and the second for PUC Procedural Rules for Filing of Pleadings, Documents, and Other Materials.



Public Utility Commission of Texas
Central Records
1701 N Congress PO Box 13326
Austin, Texas 78711-3326

For additional questions contact the PUC Central Records office at 512-936-7180.

TDEM Filing Information:

EPP can be submitted to TDEM via email at:


Texas Division of Emergency Management
Attn: State Operations Center
1033 La Posada, Ste 300
Austin, Texas 78752

When Do I Change or Update The EPP?

An affected utility needs to submit a new EPP to the TCEQ when:

  • An affected utility installs new equipment (e.g. larger generator, new water plant, larger water plant equipment) needs a new EPP to ensure that the option chosen is still applicable.
  • If an affected utility removes all water plant equipment and is provided water by another water system a new EPP is required if the providing water system does not agree to provide water or pressure during an outage lasting more than 24 hours.
  • An affected utility that agrees to provide water during an outage lasting 24 hours or more to another water system’s connections needs a new EPP to verify that the existing option can supply all customers with water and pressure during a water outage.
  • An affected utility wants to choose a different option from the original EPP approved option.
  • A non-affected utility changes their status to an affected utility (e.g. a convenience store owner begins providing water to a mobile home park).

A new EPP is not required for changes to utility contact information or personnel changes; for those types of changes, please submit only the applicable pages of the EPP template. Please include the updates in your copy of the EPP and submit the updated information to the other organizations listed on the page called Attachment A – Approved Plan Distribution.

What if I Have Additional Questions?

If you need assistance with the EPP template please fill out the EPP Help Form and TCEQ will contact you via email or phone to work with you.

If you need additional assistance email

If you would submit information to TCEQ by mail send information to:

Emergency Preparedness and Response Section, MC-151
Texas Commission Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 13087
Austin TX 78711-3087

Is There Assistance Available?

Yes. If you need assistance preparing the EPP, help is available to you.

TCEQ can also provide access to Financial, Managerial, and Technical (FMT) Assistance contractors to help you understand these requirements. The FMT program sends trained individuals to your location and helps water and wastewater systems comply with TCEQ regulations. Through a contract with skilled professionals, we offer free financial, managerial, and technical assistance to help public water and wastewater systems comply with regulations. See the FMT webpage for more information.