SAWS News: Tunneling, Trenching To Keep City’s ‘Stuff’ Flowing
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Edwards Aquifer

Aquifer Level 685.4'
11/15/18 - 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 685.4 | Year-Round Watering Hours

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Tunneling, Trenching To Keep City’s ‘Stuff’ Flowing

imageSome tunnels are for trains. Others, for love. But this behemoth, 20 feet beneath The Rim shopping center, serves a need far less lovely than railroads or romance: removing sewage from homes and businesses.

The project — which spans almost 3-1/2 miles along Interstate 10 and will triple the size of the current sewer pipe — resembles a minimining operation. Crews must tunnel through hard limestone and dig cavernous trenches far below the surface. The new pipes will employ gravity to move the sewage, removing three energy-intensive lift stations that must currently pump sewage to treatment plants.

“These lift stations are having a tough time meeting (peak) flows,” said Gail Hamrick-Pigg, SAWS’ engineering director overseeing the project.

The $14 million project is about halfway finished and expected to be complete by August 2018.

Over the next 5 years, SAWS will invest $2 billion to upgrade water and sewer infrastructure citywide to ensure reliable service to our customers. Nearly $1.1 billion is needed to repair key sewer infrastructure to meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requirements.

That includes a $35 million project along Salado Creek to replace three miles of sewer pipe. This area, which includes Holbrook Road, is susceptible to sewer overflows caused by heavy rain. A second phase, estimated to cost $38 million, will begin in 2018 to replace another three miles of aging sewers along the creek bed.

Currently, more than 60 sewer-related projects are ongoing or scheduled. To find out more about the sewer work in your neighborhood, visit

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