Edwards Aquifer Protection Program
About the Program
The Edwards Aquifer is a home to diverse fauna and is a drinking water source for the city of San Antonio and surrounding central Texas communities. Because it is a karst aquifer, fractures, caves, sinking streams, and sinkholes act as conduits to the aquifer from the surface. While this means that the aquifer recharges quickly after a rain event, it also means that any surface pollution from stormwater runoff or spills will directly impact the water quality of the aquifer, possibly impairing drinking water and affecting the sensitive ecosystem.
The Edwards Aquifer Protection Program was created to protect this precious resource. Visit the Regulatory History of the Edwards Aquifer Web page to learn more about how the program was developed.
Edwards Aquifer Protection Plans
Before building on the recharge, transition, or contributing zones of the Edwards Aquifer, you must first have your plan reviewed and approved by the TCEQ Edwards Aquifer Protection Program. Once a plan is approved, the site will be monitored for compliance. To find out more about Edwards Aquifer protection plans, why they are necessary, and who is required to submit them, visit the Edwards Aquifer Protection Plan Web page.
Review of Your Application
The Edwards Aquifer Program staff conducts an administrative and technical review of all applications. The turnaround time for administrative review can be up to 30 days as outlined in 30 TAC 213.4(e). Generally administrative completeness is determined during the intake meeting or within a few days of receipt. The turnaround time for technical review of an administratively complete Edwards Aquifer application is 90 days as outlined in 30 TAC 213.4(e). Please know that the review and approval time is directly impacted by the quality and completeness of the initial application that is received. In order to conduct a timely review, it is imperative that the information provided in an Edwards Aquifer application include final plans, be accurate, complete, and in compliance with 30 TAC 213.
Only portions of the Edwards Aquifer are regulated by the TCEQ. To find out if your project is located over a regulated zone of the aquifer, you can use our map viewer. The official boundaries, used in our maps, were drawn using topographic base maps from the U.S. Geological Survey.
- View and print maps using the TCEQ's Edwards Aquifer Map Viewer
- Download maps and data using the TCEQ's Groundwater Conservation Districts Web page
- Download map data using the Download TCEQ GIS Data Web page (for experienced GIS users)
- Visit the Texas Water Development Board's TWDB Maps website to view major and minor aquifers of Texas
- Complying with the Edwards Aquifer Rules: Technical Guidance on Best Management Practices) — Guidance on the rules that apply specifically to the Edwards Aquifer.
- There is a brief list of typographical errors in the manual. You may notify us of any other errors.
- We post an addendum that provides additional information that is approved for inclusion in the manual.
- ) — Building on the Edwards Aquifer? Added responsibilities and requirements apply.
- Sensitive Features Encountered During Construction — Overview of the steps that must be taken if sensitive features are encountered during a construction activity over the Edwards Aquifer.
- (TCEQ-0585-Instructions) Instructions to Geologists for Geologic Assessments on the Edwards Aquifer Recharge/Transition Zones
- ) — Guidance on restrictions relating to construction on the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone in Williamson, Travis, Hays, Comal, Bexar, Medina, Uvalde, and Kinney counties.
- Best Management Practices for Quarry Operations) — A guide to complying with the Edwards Aquifer rules pertaining to quarries.
- Calculation Spreadsheet: Total Suspended Solids Removal — Excel spreadsheet that may be used to calculate the required Total Suspended Solids removal for permanent BMPs.
Rules and Public Comment
You can use the links provided below to find the Edwards Aquifer rules and summaries of the comments received in past hearings and TCEQ actions.
- Chapter 213 Rules Protecting the Edwards Aquifer
- Edwards Aquifer Protection Program Public Comments - Fiscal Year 2010
- Edwards Aquifer Protection Program Public Comments - Fiscal Year 2013 (PDF) (Help with PDF.)
If you are located in Williamson, Travis, or Hays County, call the TCEQ’s Austin Regional Office at 512-339-2929. For help in Comal, Bexar, Medina, Uvalde, or Kinney County, call TCEQ’s San Antonio Regional Office at 210-490-3096.