San Antonio’s water and wastewater infrastructure is the massive system of pipes, water wells, pumps, storage tanks, treatment facilities, and pump stations that is mostly below ground.
The city has more than 12,880 miles of water and sewer mains buried below the approximately 930 square miles of the SAWS water delivery service area – enough to stretch from South Texas to Australia.
That’s a lot of pipes to keep in good working order!
Planning for the Future
Because parts of San Antonio’s aging water and wastewater infrastructure are nearing the end of their useful life, SAWS has undertaken a comprehensive Capital Improvement Program to meet the city’s long-term needs.
The CIP also addresses the need for expanding our infrastructure to serve San Antonio’s growing residential and business populations. Expansion of the SAWS system is primarily funded through developer impact fees to ensure existing customers do not bear the brunt of the costs for new development.
While many utilities have traditionally based their infrastructure replacement schedules solely on age, SAWS is moving toward a more sophisticated, condition-based approach. This allows us to extend the useful lifespan of pipes that have aged well, while more aggressively pursuing replacement of those with the highest likelihood of failure.
This process leverages our financial resources to sustain the high quality, reliable service SAWS customers have come to expect while helping to maintain rate stability – now and in the future.