Need to know where SAWS pipes are located?

If you are excavating, drilling and/or boring, you are required to obtain a SAWS locate to determine underground infrastructure such as water or sewer mains. SAWS will provide location information about underground infrastructure through maps or with physical markers through our online location service provided below.

Locate Requests Must Include the Following

Create a one-time profile that will be used for all subsequent locate requests.

    • Name or person making the request
    • Excavator / Business name, if applicable
    • Excavator / Business address, if applicable
    • Phone number
    • Email address
    • Estimated date of excavation
    • Attach pictures and/or map drawing if applicable

Emergency Locate Requests

An emergency locate request is defined as:

A clear and present danger to life, health, safety or property or a situation that demands immediate action to prevent or repair a major service outage.

Prior to any excavation activity, if your request falls within the parameters of a defined emergency, please call 210-704-SAWS (7297) and press option “1” for an emergency locate request.

Poor planning on the part of the excavator DOES NOT constitute an emergency. If your request does not fall within the parameters of a defined emergency — you will be required to provide SAWS up to 48 hours to locate infrastructure prior to any excavation activity.

Video Tutorial

Additional Requirements

  • Excavator’s area of excavation must be white-lined.
  • Excavator must adhere to minimum separation distance of 18 inches from SAWS’ infrastructure.
  • Potholing or hand-digging must be done at all intersections over critical infrastructure to verify the depth of the main, or when instructed by SAWS to avoid injury and/or damages to persons and/or property, including SAWS’ infrastructure.
  • In the event a SAWS locator cannot identify the location of any SAWS’ infrastructure due to the lack of maps or other existing records maintained by SAWS, the SAWS’ locator will mark the ground with the words “Hand-Dig” or “Pot-Hole.” In such an event, and in order to prevent injury and/or damages to persons and property including SAWS’ infrastructure, the excavator must locate the SAWS’ infrastructure through alternative methods including, without limitation, potholing, hand-digging, lateral camera, or other suitable location technique prior to any excavation activity.
  • In the event an excavator needs additional information after receiving notice that a “Hand-Dig” or “Pot-Hole” of the area is required, or the excavator needs additional information on any other matter, the excavator can submit a support/feedback request via SAWS Locates self-service system.
  • Locate requests must be submitted no earlier than the 14th day before the date excavation is set to begin and no later than the 48th hour before the time the excavation is set to begin, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays. A “legal holiday” means a holiday specified as such by Subchapter B, Chapter 622 of the Texas Government Code.

Process Timeline

  • Once request is submitted, a Service Request (SR) number will be generated and emailed back within 15 minutes.
  • Please allow a minimum of forty-eight hours for your locate request (excluding weekends and holidays). Due to the current extraordinary high volume of locate requests and infrastructure maintenance and repairs, locates may take longer than usual to be completed, with up to ten business days from request to completion. We appreciate your cooperation in navigating this difficult time for water systems, and please feel free to contact with any questions or concerns.
  • SAWS locates expire 14 days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays) from the submittal of the locate request.
    • If excavating is still intended after 14 days and locate marks are no longer visible, use the “Create New Request” function on the application.
    • If excavating is still intended after 14 days and marks ARE clearly visible, use the “Update SR” function on the application and attach digital photographs of the locate marks in the area of excavation.

What to Expect

SAWS will respond to each locate request. After SAWS has been notified of the planned excavation, SAWS will, within the time-frame provided above, either:

    • Mark the approximate location of our underground facilities using the American Public Works Association (APWA) color code guidelines for the identification of underground-buried facilities for SAWS.
    • Request additional information if necessary.
    • Notify the excavator to “Hand-Dig” by marking the ground where the anticipated excavation will occur to indicate that alternative methods must be used to identify the location of such facility before any excavation can begin to prevent injury and/or damages to persons and property including SAWS underground infrastructure. Upon request, SAWS will provide all information known to SAWS based on existing records maintained by SAWS within the area of excavation.
    • Respond via email to the email address provided in the initial locate request that SAWS does not have any underground infrastructure at the identified excavation site, or SAWS will mark “clear” on the ground where the excavation was identified to occur.
    • SAWS will support and track update requests for existing locate requests through the Locates self-service system.




Request Locate Now