SAWS News: SAWS Initiating Downtown Sewer Cleaning Project
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10/16/18 - Official

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SAWS Initiating Downtown Sewer Cleaning Project

Beginning February 1 and ending in early March, SAWS crews and a private contractor, working closely with City of San Antonio, are managing a downtown sanitary sewer infrastructure cleaning project needed to clear pipes and equipment of built-up grease and debris. The project entails using equipment that fits within wastewater mains and pipes to break loose and vacuum the build-up. Street excavation will not be necessary.

While the upcoming work on the downtown sewer lines will cause traffic delays, businesses and residents in the area can be assured that the sewer lines they depend on have been inspected and cleaned reducing the likelihood of sewage backups and spills. SAWS is under a consent decree with the EPA that mandates the inspection and cleaning of sewer lines in areas around the city.

Six phases of sewer work over a five-week period will be focused around the Commerce St. and Alamo St. intersection with various lane closures (see maps on following page). Losoya St. will be closed for a few days during Phase 2, and northbound Alamo St. will be closed during Phase 4. Phase 6, the final phase, will be on Commerce between Soledad and St. Mary’s. The phases will occur as follows:

Phase 1: Feb.1-5, Commerce and Alamo streets

Phase 2: Feb. 5-10, Commerce, Alamo and Losoya streets

Phase 3: Feb. 10-15, Alamo St.

Phase 4: Feb. 15-20, Alamo St.

Phase 5: Feb. 20-25, Alamo St.

Phase 6: March 1-5, Commerce St.

“We know that traffic in the downtown area can be challenging,” said SAWS Vice President, Greg Flores, “so we will make every effort to minimize disruptions.”

Some ramps will be used in the process to accommodate traffic passing over bypass pipes. The ramps will include a four-inch rise, which may require traffic to slow. When sidewalks are involved in the work, ADA-compatible ramps will still allow pedestrian traffic.

 “It’s critical that we maintain the city’s sewer system in order to avoid sewer spills,” added Flores. “There will be some overnight work noise and possibly some odors, so we ask the public to bear with us while we work 24/7 to complete this work as quickly as possible.”

Working with City convention and tourism planners, SAWS picked this timeframe to do the work since there are no major conventions or tourism events planned. All work is expected to be done before Spring Break and Fiesta San Antonio activities begin.

More information and maps of the project are available at


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