Plumbing Backed Up?
When your sewer line gets clogged and toilets and tubs start backing up, repairs can't come quickly enough. But if this happens to you, please remember to call SAWS first -- before looking through the Yellow Pages for a licensed plumber. We may be able to save you some time, money and frustration.
Why call SAWS first? Sometimes a sewer main in your street becomes clogged and causes a sewer backup in a home. Once we're notified, a crew is quickly dispatched, and we can usually clear the line within a few hours.
Our goal is to quickly assess the problem and to help you get your plumbing system working properly as soon as possible.
Also, SAWS has a Sewer Lateral Reimbursement Program to address this unfortunate problem. If the blockage is not in the sewer main and you need the services of a licensed plumber, you'll need to follow a few simple steps to see if you are eligible for plumbing reimbursement. Here's what to do:
- Call 704-SAWS (704-7297) to report a sewer lateral blockage (i.e. toilets, tubs, etc. backing up).
- SAWS will immediately dispatch a crew to check your sewer main.
- If the sewer main is clogged, SAWS will clear the blockage.
- If the sewer line is clear then your problem probably lies between your house and the sewer main somewhere along your sewer lateral line.
- Call a licensed plumber with electronic locating equipment. It is critical your plumber has this capability.
- If the plumber finds the problem is within your property line, SAWS cannot reimburse you for his time and service.
- If the plumber finds that the blockage is beyond your property (i.e. in the right-of-way, street or alley), the plumber must electronically locate the lateral, mark the location of the obstruction with green paint, and contact our Emergency Services Section at 704-SAWS.
- SAWS will promptly respond and make the necessary repairs.
- Within 4-6 weeks you will be reimbursed for the licensed plumber's normal and customary charges. Please mail plumbing receipts to:
San Antonio Water System
Sewer Lateral Reimbursement Program
3930 E. Houston
San Antonio, TX 78220
NOTICE TO PLUMBERS
Before beginning any work, please provide an estimate to the customer. In order for the customer to seek reimbursement, the break must be in the right-of-way/street or alley. Typically, SAWS owns the lateral between the main line and the property line. SAWS will only reimburse the customer, based on normal and customary plumbing charges related to electronically locating the problem. Reimbursements will not be approved for property improvements, such as new cleanouts. If excavation is necessary and the break is not located, SAWS will contact you at that time. Plumbers who fail to respond or properly locate the break are subject to a time and materials charge.