Public Outreach and Education
SAWS continues to make great strides in public awareness and education. SAWS has orchestrated public information fairs and is involved with public education regarding water-related issues. Information fairs are presented by a combination of various SAWS departments. Emphasizing the importance of conservation, stormwater runoff, water quality, reuse, aquifer studies, recycling and wellhead protection continues to be presented through these efforts. In addition to information fairs, SAWS has programs aimed at homeowners’ associations, schools and community gatherings. Through these programs, people learn how to identify potential hazards that could threaten the public water supply. SAWS also sponsors and participates in many educational efforts involving state, federal and local agencies.
There are many rural residents in the San Antonio area that rely on private wells for their household water supply. These people are being encouraged to practice wellhead protection for their private domestic wells. SAWS Groundwater Resource Protection Division assists homeowners in four basic wellhead protection practices: (1) proper well construction; (2) proper well sitting; (3) backflow prevention; and (4) plugging abandoned wells. Groundwater Resource Protection Division also assists well owners by answering inquiries regarding water quality.
SAWS Education conducts workshops and presentations to inform the public about watershed protection, conservation, water quality and source water protection. Through a series of programs, SAWS interacts with the public conveying the importance of these programs. Presentations to kindergarten students and adults in the general community have been successful avenues in increasing citizens’ knowledge of protecting their water source. Training workshops for professional trades are coordinated on a regular basis to address local, state and federal regulations associated with construction and industrial activities. Specific water-quality efforts – implemented to achieve the goals and objectives of the federal stormwater program (NPDES) – include kindergarten through high school curriculum and classroom presentations.