In Harris County there are approximately 450 municipal sewage wastewater treatment plants and 212 active industrial wastewater treatment facilities permitted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to discharge treated wastewater to receiving streams throughout Harris County. Many facilities in Harris County also have permits to discharge treated storm water after a significant rain event.
The Water Surveillance Section is responsible for monitoring the quality of those discharges by conducting inspections of wastewater treatment facilities and by collecting samples of the discharges and returning the samples to the Pollution Control Services Department lab for analysis. Violation notices are issued when the collected samples do not meet permitted water quality parameters.
The Water Surveillance Section also responds to citizen complaints related to unauthorized discharges of sewage, grey water or industrial wastewater.