Dependable Pipes, Infrastructure Keep SAWS Services Running Smoothly

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San Antonio’s water and wastewater infrastructure – a massive system of pipes, water wells, pumps, storage tanks, treatment facilities and pump stations – is mostly underground. Though it’s out of sight, it’s working hard for you every day to deliver water to your home or business while discreetly disposing of your used water in an environmentally responsible way.

SAWS maintains, inspects and cleans more than 12,000 miles of water and sewer pipes throughout the city and county – enough pipe to stretch from South Texas to Australia!

SAWS will spend $2 billion over the next five years improving, repairing and replacing water and sewer lines to ensure reliability of service to your home or business. So, when you turn on your tap for a glass of water or to brush your teeth, you can be confident that reliable service is always there 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Addressing maintenance of infrastructure is not just a San Antonio issue but a national one. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified infrastructure investment needs for drinking water ($384 billion) and wastewater improvements ($271 billion) that total $655 billion to keep the country’s water/sewer infrastructure updated.

At SAWS, we have an aggressive, proactive Capital Improvement Plan that addresses aging infrastructure and meets growth in a cost-effective manner. Here are some examples:

  • In a responsible settlement agreementwith the EPA to reduce sewer overflows, SAWS will invest an additional $492 million in its sewer system over a 10-year period, ensuring a more reliable wastewater system for the future.
  • A new 45-mile pipeline – dubbed the “integration pipeline”— adds water management flexibility to our massive underground water storage site in southern Bexar County to simultaneously produce, store and recover water. This allows us to direct our diverse water supplies where they are needed most in our system, ensuring dependability!
  • The Southwest Bexar Sewer Pipelineprovides a backbone for wastewater service in the south and west areas of San Antonio, ultimately capable of providing service to more than 250,000 people in these fast-growing areas. It spans 32 miles — about the same distance as from San Antonio to Pleasanton. The pipeline now links far west and southern San Antonio to the Dos Rios Water Recycling Center. In addition, the project resulted in cost savings in other areas for ratepayers by eliminating at least 10 lift stations, reducing costs for upgrades and maintenance, as well as eliminating the need to expand other SAWS treatment facilities.
  • In an agreement with Joint Base San Antonio, SAWS is ready to provide water and new infrastructure to our military bases, further shielding them from potential closures. In all, SAWS will provide a combined 20,450 feet of pipeline to local military installations.

Reliable water and sewer infrastructure helps make San Antonio … Waterful.

One thought on “Dependable Pipes, Infrastructure Keep SAWS Services Running Smoothly

  1. SAWS approach to Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs) is like Milli Vanilli: “Blame it on the rain!”

    From the 2017 Budget: “While the number of SSOs have increased during the last two years, the increase is attributable to high levels of rainfall. The following chart shows the number of SSOs and annual rainfall since 2010. ”

    Uh, that kind of makes sense, but you should add “leaks” into that sentence. The sanitary sewers overflow when the rainwater gets into them from leaks. The rain doesn’t cause the leaks, it simply exposes them.

    Since SAWS, like Peter Criss (the cat in KISS), can’t stop the rain, maybe they should fix the leaks. Girl you know it’s true…

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