SAWS: Best Management Practices
Aquifer Beaker

Edwards Aquifer

Aquifer Level 681.9'
5/24/19 - Official

The Edwards aquifer and its catchment area in the San Antonio region is about 8,000 square miles and includes all or part of 13 counties in south-central Texas.

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Year-Round Watering Hours

Watering with an irrigation system or sprinkler is allowed any day of the week before 11 a.m. or after 7 p.m.

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Aquifer Level 681.9 | Year-Round Watering Hours

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Commercial Programs & Rebates

Best Management Practices

The highest in-bay automatic wash shall not exceed an average consumption of 60 gallons during drought stages.

"Non-Certified" car wash operations will be limited during later stages of drought.

All Car Wash Facilities

  • All water-using devices must be maintained to original or improved specifications for the conservation of water.
  • All spray nozzles must be replaced annually with stainless steel or hard ceramic nozzles to ensure maximum efficiency.
  • All water leaks must be repaired as they occur.
  • All toilets utilized at the facility must use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush.
  • All hoses or faucets that are in use must be attended or shut off.
  • All driveways or impervious surfaces should be cleaned by sweeping for purposes other than health and safety.
  • Driveways may be washed with high pressure, low volume systems for health and safety purposes only.
  • All spot-free reverse osmosis concentrate (if such system is in place) must be reused in the wash water holding tank.
  • Oil-water separators must be in proper working order.
  • Remain in good standing with SAWS Wastewater Compliance.
  • Submit yearly pumping receipts showing quarterly manifest of sump serviced by licensed waste hauler. (required by City Ordinance Sec.34-518.1.c)

Self-Service Facilities

  • All chamois wringer sinks must have positive shut-off valves.
  • All high-pressure wash nozzles and pump systems shall be calibrated to flows no greater than 3 gallons per minute. This may be achieved by replacing existing nozzles with a reduced size nozzle and adjusting the pressure generated by the pumps as needed.
  • To alleviate misunderstandings for waste disposal, mandatory signs prohibiting the dumping of vehicle/household fluids must be posted in an effort to lessen these types of practices.
  • All wash wands must incorporate nozzle protectors at all times.

Full-Service Facilities

  • Automatic high-level water cut-offs must be installed in all towel and chamois washing machines.
  • A minimum of 50 percent of water utilized in the rinse phase must be recycled to the collector tanks to be used for the washing phase.

In-Bay Automatic Facilities

  • All chamois wringer sinks must have positive shut-off valves.
  • Some mechanical means must be used to create at least a 5-second dwell time for water to run off the vehicle into the sanitary sewer before vehicle can exit the bay.
  • Direction of spray and timing shall be properly set and shut off when no longer in contact with a vehicle.
  • Basic wash package shall use no more than 40 gallons. Total annual savings are calculated at 988,829 gallons.
  • Premium wash package shall use no more than 75 gallons, except during drought restrictions (See Drought Management Requirements). Total savings as a result of this adjustment are calculated at 1,371,628 gallons