SAWS News: Main Break Season is Upon Us, Safety is Key in Repairs
Aquifer Beaker

Edwards Aquifer

Aquifer Level 682.6'
5/23/19 - 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 682.6 | Year-Round Watering Hours

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Main Break Season is Upon Us, Safety is Key in Repairs

With your help, the impact of main breaks can be minimized by reporting them to
704-SAWS (704-7297).
Include the following information when you report a problem:
  • The address or nearest cross street and intersection
  • How much is flowing? (heavy or minimal)
  • Is it adversely affecting the public? (traffic or location)

    As the hot days of summer continue, San Antonio Water System is asking for your help to identify and report main breaks and line leaks this summer. Main breaks are a reflection of stress on our water infrastructure; the dry, hot weather causes the soil to shift and contract. This, in combination with higher amounts of water pushing through lines can lead to increased numbers of leaks and main breaks in our water system.

    But utilities face certain dangers when digging under roadways. An underground highway of natural gas, electrical, telephone, cable, and Internet lines runs just below the pavement.

    "With the hot, dry weather expected to continue throughout the summer, we are working hard to respond to main breaks and leaks as quickly as possible to minimize impacts to our community," said Greg Flores, vice president of Public Affairs. "But, we have to strike a careful balance between responsiveness and safety. And safety both for our employees and the public still has to be paramount."

    Expecting a rise in the number of ruptured lines, SAWS has increased the number of crews available to repair and respond to main breaks and leaks in the system's 4,800 miles of water lines. Just in the month of June, SAWS crews have responded to more than 1,000 main breaks and leaks, including more than 80 this past weekend and 350 in the past week.

    SAWS is also carefully monitoring employees’ working hours spent outside in 100-degree-plus weather to help prevent heat-related illnesses.

    • While crews respond to each instance as quickly as possible, there are several steps in safely locating and repairing leaks and main breaks:
    • There are frequently many leaks and main breaks occurring at one time. So SAWS managers prioritize – or triage – each situation for response depending on its size, location and potential for damage.
    • Identify and isolate the exact location of the break so that service interruption can be minimized to the immediate area.
    • Locate all underground lines in the area, including natural gas, electrical, telephone, and Internet, to ensure public and employee safety and prevent damage to property in the area.
    • Ensure that the appropriate staff and equipment is on-site to efficiently repair the main break or leak.
    Back to SAWS News Next: San Antonians saving water, and energy. Thank you San Antonio!