Questions or Comments: PWSQA@tceq.texas.gov
You are here:

Public Water System Supervision Program

The TCEQ's responsibility and authority for regulating public water systems and the PWSSP Quality Assurance Project Plan.


TCEQ’s public drinking water program is a part of the state’s Public Water System Supervision (PWSS) program. The state is required to maintain a PWSS program in order to retain primary enforcement authority (primacy) over Texas public water systems’ (PWSs’) compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and its amendments. States that do not have primacy are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) directly.

The TCEQ’s PWSS program is implemented by many areas within the agency. The EPA gives flexibility to primacy agencies for some PWSS program activities by requiring TCEQ to develop a program for certain activities, with EPA approval of the program. TCEQ is required to:

  1. Adopt, implement, and support compliance with drinking water rules at least as stringent as the federal rules. This is done by the Public Drinking Water Standards Section (DWSS) and Drinking Water Special Functions Section (DWSFS) of the Water Supply Division (WSD) in the Office of Water (OW).
  2. Deliver PWS inventory, violation, and action data to EPA (OW/WSD/DWSFS).
  3. Ensure compliance monitoring and compliance determination for chemical and microbiological standards, ensure initial water quality meets minimum standards before approving a new source (OW/WSD/DWSS).
  4. Assess the source water vulnerability of all drinking water sources in the state and provide support to help public water systems protect those source waters (OW/WSD/DWSFS).
  5. Review and approve engineered plans for PWS infrastructure improvements. This is done by the Plan and Technical Review Section (PTRS) of the Water Supply Division in the Office of Water (OW/WSD/PTRS).
  6. Support programs for capacity development (OW/WSD/PTRS).
  7. Oversee compliance with and provide technical assistance for Homeland Security requirements for PWSs (OW/WSD/DWSFS).
  8. Perform sanitary surveys of sources, treatment, distribution, storage, pump facilities, data verification, management, operation, and operator compliance for new and existing PWSs. This is done by the Regional Offices under the Field Operations Division (FOD) of the Office of Compliance and Enforcement (OCE).
  9. Ensure formal enforcement action for PWSs that exceed compliance trigger levels agreed upon by TCEQ and EPA. TCEQ’s Enforcement Division of the OCE maintains this part of the PWSS program.
  10. Maintain a licensing program for PWS operators. This is done by the Occupational Licensing Section of the Permitting and Registration Support Division in the Office of Waste (OOW).
  11. Maintain a laboratory certification program for the analysis in the drinking water matrix. This is done by the Quality Assurance Section of the Monitoring Division in OCE.
  12. Review the creation of applications for general-law districts, bond, and miscellaneous applications for water districts to fund water, sewer, and drainage projects. This is done by the Districts Section (DS) of the Water Supply Division in the Office of Water (OW/WSD/DS).

The National Primary Drinking Water Regulations adopted under the Safe Drinking Water Act, can be found in Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations Part 141; The rules that TCEQ adopts and implements can be found in 30 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 290.

Primacy is a status that must be maintained. As EPA promulgates new regulations, primacy States must adopt the new requirements under State law and apply for primacy for those requirements. Primacy applications must include copies of applicable statutes and regulations, program descriptions, descriptions of enforcement procedures for the applicable regulations, Attorney General’s statements, and other relevant information.

The TCEQ ensures a successful PWSS program through technical assistance, preventive efforts, and customer service, as well as through regulatory and enforcement actions. Preventive efforts are aimed at notifying and educating an operator about requirements and can result in avoiding critical issues. TCEQ also conducts outreach and education activities to promote understanding of and compliance with their regulations. These activities are based on the belief that most water suppliers want to do the right thing if they understand how and why it must be done.

PWSS Program Quality Assurance Project Plan

The EPA requires a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) for all environmental data operations funded under the PWSS program. All work that involves the acquisition of environmental data shall be performed in accordance with a TCEQ/EPA-approved QAPP meeting all applicable TCEQ and EPA requirements. Environmental data includes any analytical measurements or information that describes environmental processes, locations or conditions. Environmental data consists of information collected directly from field or analytical measurements, produced from models, or compiled from other sources such as databases or literature. Without prejudice to any other remedies available to TCEQ, failure to meet the terms of the QAPP may result in TCEQ's suspension of associated activities and non-acceptance of data related to the associated activities.

The TCEQ WSD has created a main "Programmatic" QAPP as well as ten (10) addenda that are geared toward specific audiences. Laboratories that submit data to the TCEQ PWSSP for use in compliance must be:

  • Accredited by TCEQ under The NELAC Institute (TNI) National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP) Standards,
  • Use only EPA approved drinking water methods,
  • Adhere to relevant TCEQ and/or EPA drinking water regulations,
  • Adhere to EPA requirements in the Manual for the Certification of Laboratories Analyzing Drinking WaterExit the TCEQ, and
  • Adhere to programmatic requirements contained in the PWSSP QAPP.

The TCEQ reserves the right to refuse to accept data and analyses from laboratories in order to maintain compliance with programmatic requirements and specifications listed above.

To assist PWS operators with selecting laboratories for their drinking water compliance needs, the PWSS Program maintains lists of labs that have acknowledged and agreed to adhere to the requirements of the PWSSP QAPP. The current version of these lists can be found in the section titled “PWSSP Adhering Laboratories” on this page.

PWSSP QAPP Annual Certification

The PWSSP QAPP is approved by EPA for a period of three years. The current QAPP is in effect until November 14, 2022. The EPA requires annual review and certification of the continued accuracy of the document. Minor administrative updates may be made during those annual reviews.

On October 4, 2021 the EPA approved a nonsubstantive, administrative update to the PWSSP QAPP. On November 2, 2021 the EPA acknowledged the final annual certification for the PWSSP QAPP Revision 13, Amendment #1.

PWSSP QAPP Links

application/pdfQAPP for the TCEQ PWSSP Related to the Safe Drinking Water Act (Rev. 13, Amendment #1), Effective 11/04/2019, Amended 10/04/2021

application/pdfPWSSP QAPP Addendum 1 - Sampling, Analysis, and Reporting of Chemical Compliance Data (Rev. 2, Amendment #1) 

application/pdfPWSSP QAPP Addendum 2 - Guidance for Collection, Analysis and Reporting of Lead and Copper Samples under the Lead and Copper Rule (Rev. 3, Amendment #1) 

application/pdfPWSSP QAPP Addendum 3 - Guidance for Collection, Analysis and Reporting of Water Quality Parameters under the Lead and Copper Rule (Rev. 3, Amendment #1) 

application/pdfPWSSP QAPP Addendum 4 - Guidance for Collection, Analysis and Reporting for Microbial Contaminants Under the Revised Total Coliform and Groundwater Rules (Rev. 3, Amendment #1) 

application/pdfPWSSP QAPP Addendum 5 - Comprehensive Compliance Investigations(Rev. 1, Amendment #1) 

application/pdfPWSSP QAPP Addendum 6 - Source Water Susceptibility Assessments (Rev. 1, Amendment #1) 

application/pdfPWSSP QAPP Addendum 7 - Review and Approval of Public Water System Engineering Plans (Rev. 1, Amendment #1) 

application/pdfPWSSP QAPP Addendum 8 - Texas Optimization Program Evaluations (Rev. 1, Amendment #1) 

application/pdfPWSSP QAPP Addendum 9 - Acquisition of Treatment Technique and Disinfectant Residual Data (Rev. 1, Amendment #1) 

application/pdfPWSSP QAPP Addendum 10 - Special Investigation QAPP Template (Rev. 1, Amendment #1)

Texas Drinking Water Public Laboratories

TCEQ has developed a PWS laboratory map table and a map of the NELAP accredited drinking water public laboratories across the state of Texas. This map shows Texas drinking water public laboratories, testing for microbial total coliforms, lead and copper, and/or water quality parameters. When looking at the map, match the number to the PWS Laboratory Map Table to find more information about the lab, such as what they test. Always call laboratories to find and confirm sample drop off hours and prices.

PWS Laboratory Map Table Microsoft Excel Document

Texas Drinking Water Public Laboratories MapExit the TCEQ

Laboratory Adherence

Laboratories that submit analytical data and reports on the behalf of public water systems to the TCEQ for use in complying with the requirements of the SDWA must be accredited in accordance with Title 30 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC), §290.119, and adhere to PWSSP requirements. Laboratories that analyze microbial samples for compliance with the RTCR or chemical samples for compliance with the LCR (Tap samples and Water Quality Parameters) must certify to TCEQ's PWSSP that they have reviewed and will comply with the PWSSP QAPP in order to be listed as a lab that is adhering to the PWSSP.

Laboratories must complete the Letter of Acknowledgement and Agreement along with the applicable Drinking Water Laboratory Checklists (listed below) and include any required attachments (monitoring forms, etc.). These should be returned to the TCEQ via email to PWSQA@tceq.texas.gov.

PWSSP Adhering Laboratories

The following lists include laboratories that can analyze samples for compliance with the Revised Total Coliform, Groundwater, and Lead and Copper Rules. These laboratories have acknowledged in writing to TCEQ that they have reviewed the appropriate QAPP Addenda and agree to adhere to the requirements contained therein. The TCEQ PWSSP recommends using laboratories that are properly accredited in the drinking water matrix and have agreed to adhere to PWSSP Requirements.