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New Texas Legislation on Backup Power for Wastewater Treatment Facilities

New Texas Legislation on Backup Power for Wastewater Treatment Facilities

For residents and business owners alike, Valentine’s Week 2021 brought everything but love and warmth. The Winter Outbreak wreaked frosty havoc on residents and businesses with its frigid temperatures, snow, sleet, and freezing rain.

Southeast Texas experienced the most detrimental winter events in its recent history, resulting in significant road closures, broken pipe systems, widespread power outages, and other significant regional situations.

While the event brought misfortune for many, this outbreak also brought light to inadequate infrastructure for extreme weather emergencies. New Texas legislation on backup power for wastewater treatment facilities dictates that water utilities must develop and implement preparedness strategies to maintain operations during a power outage.

To learn more about what Texas facilities are doing to remain in compliance, continue reading below.


Part of the new law states that wastewater treatment facilities must have a design to treat and maintain wastewater disinfection practices to comply with their permit.

The facility must be able to operate and continue practices during all power outages, including those that extend past the power reliability determination.

Components of the disinfection system, including return-activated sludge pumps, must operate at full capacity during outages. If the facility utilizes portable generators or pumps to guarantee service, the engineering report should include:

  • Storage location for every pump and generator
  • Amount of time needed to transport each component to its service location
  • Corresponding treatment units for each generator and pump and their backups
  • Records of maintenance


By July 1st, 2022, each water facility in Texas should have its emergency plan in place and must be ready to implement it in the event of a power outage.

Moving Forward

As part of the new Texas legislation, backup power for wastewater treatment is imperative under law SB 3. Water utilities must develop best practices within their emergency preparedness plans to ensure their services remain uninterrupted during an extended power outage.

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