Skip to main content
Campus Operations Banner

Waste Water

507. Wastewater

Wastewater is used water that drains from toilets, sinks, tubs/showers and washing machines located on the University of Texas at Arlington campus. The wastewater travels through a series of collection pipes to a treatment plant where it is treated to strict quality standards and then released.

  • Contact the Environmental Health and Safety Office to report any illicit discharges.

507a. Sink Disposal

Do NOT dispose of hazardous wastes in any quantity by pouring down the drain. Do not dispose of the following materials in the sanitary sewer (sink or other drains):

  • Flammable and combustible solvents including benzene, toluene, xylenes, hexane, acetone, ethers, formaldehyde, tetrahydrofuran, and ethyl acetate.
  • Halogenated solvents including chloroform, dichloromethane, carbon tetrachloride, and chlorinated fluorocarbons. 
  • Mercury or mercury salts or dyes
  • Phenolic and amine compounds including phenols, hydroquinone, acrylamide, and ethanolamine.
  • Corrosive materials including sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, acetic acid, sodium hydroxide, and potassium hydroxide.
  • Aqueous solutions containing regulated quantities of arsenic, barium, boron, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, selenium, silver, or zinc.
  • Cyanide and sulfide compounds including organic nitriles and mercaptans.
  • Poisons including bromine, ethidium bromide, benzidine, and osmium tetroxide.
  • Explosive compounds including picric acid and organic peroxides (see APPENDIX III for other examples).
  • Commercial products including strippers, paints, dyes and some concentrated cleaners.
  • Radioactive materials.
  • Untreated liquid special (biological) waste.

Do NOT flush acid or base solutions containing organic or inorganic impurities (for example, base baths or acidic solutions used to clean glassware) down the drain; collect these solutions for disposal by EH&S. If you have any questions about sink disposal of any material, contact the Hazardous Materials Section of EH&S at 817-272-2185 for assistance. Violations of the City of Arlington wastewater discharge permit or other waste disposal regulations could result in interruption of laboratory activities, financial penalties, or prison sentences.

507b. Back Flow Prevention

Water for the University is supplied and delivered through piping systems from the City of Arlington. This water is used for drinking (potable water) and for industrial and commercial facilities such as laboratories, laundries, hospitals, etc. Cross-connections between potable water distribution systems and industrial/commercial piping systems could create a potential for backflow of contaminated wastewater into the drinking water system if there is a loss of water pressure as may occur during a pipe break or during plumbing maintenance. For this reason, backflow prevention devices such as check valves, air separation gaps and similar devices are installed in certain situations to prevent cross-contamination of the drinking water supply. These backflow prevention devices are required by code and must be installed and periodically tested by qualified personnel. Different devices are required for different types of facilities and uses. High hazard areas such as laboratories, clinics and hospitals require sophisticated backflow prevention devices.

There are many backflow prevention devices installed in University of Maryland facilities. Backflow prevention devices must often be installed during new construction or renovation/repair of existing facilities. This Fact Sheet describes the requirements for installation, testing, registration and repair of backflow prevention devices.


Backflow means the flow of water or other liquids, mixtures or substances into the distribution pipes of a potable water supply system. Backflow may occur when non-potable water is siphoned into the pipe distribution system as a result of loss of pressure.

Backflow Prevention device means a device that mechanically prevents the reverse flow or back- siphonage of non potable water into potable water pipe distribution system.

 Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester (BPAT) means a person who has demonstrated competency in inspection and testing of backflow prevention devices.

Cross-connection is an actual or potential connection between a distribution pipe of potable water and any waste pipe, drain, sewer, non-potable system or any source of water that has been treated to a lesser degree in the treatment process.

Applicable Regulations

Rules and Regulations for Public Water System of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.  

Summary of Requirements:

  • Backflow prevention devices must be installed and conform to the American Water Works Association (AWWA) standards C510, C511 and AWWA Manual M14. Backflow prevention devices must conform with the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) standards.
  • Backflow prevention devices must be readily accessible for inspection, testing and maintenance.
  • Backflow prevention devices must not be installed in pits or similar submerged areas.
  • Backflow prevention devices shall be inspected and tested after initial installation.
  • Routine inspection, testing and overhaul of backflow prevention devices is the responsibility of Facilities Management.


Personnel who perform backflow prevention inspection, testing and overhaul must be certified (40 hour training class) as a Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester (BPAT) by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.  


All Backflow assembly testers including test gauge serial numbers and date their gauge was last tested for accuracy must be documented on “Test and Maintenance” report forms.


The facility owner is responsible for ensuring that backflow prevention devices are inspected, tested and overhauled by a Certified Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester and documentation kept on file for at least three years.


Records detailing the installation, inspection, testing and overhaul of backflow prevention devices must be maintained by the Facility Management and a copy forwarded to EH&S. 

507c. Safety Shower/Eyewash Unit Runoff 

Safety showers and eye washes are pieces of  safety equipment located in several labs at the University of Texas at Arlington. They are used in emergency situations when a chemical exposure has taken place.  Hazardous components in this water are not likely to be a concern due to dilution. 


  • Hazardous characteristics of runoff should be evaluated.  If the hazardous material has been sufficiently diluted, it may be disposed of via drain.
  • If no chemical hazard is present, the runoff may be wet-vacuumed or mopped.
  • If a large amount of chemical hazard is still present, collect the runoff and process as hazardous waste.

507d. Acid Neutralization Tanks 

Acid neutralization tanks are installed at the discharge site in various buildings on the University of Texas at Arlington campus. Their primary function is to reduce the pH of small quantities of acids in the event of an accidental release into the city’s sewer system. 


  • All laboratory staff should be trained on how to properly dispose of their chemicals and not rely on the acid neutralization tanks as a primary treatment system.
  • Acid neutralization tanks should be inspected by Facilities Management periodically under a regular preventative maintenance program. 

507e. Fleets

Wastewater is generated from the cleaning of vehicles and maintenance areas which may contain oils or other contaminants. 


  • University fleet vehicles will be cleaned at a commercial car wash that collects and recycles the wash water.
  • In the absence of an oil water separator, all fluids should be collected with approved absorbent material and packaged for proper disposal.
  • Contact Environmental Health and Safety Office for disposal.


  • Spill containment materials and procedures should be in place for appropriate use.