The Nation’s Largest Direct Recycled Water System

In 1996, SAWS committed to building one of the nation’s largest direct recycled water systems. With over 20 years of operations, the recycled water produced from the SAWS Water Recycling Centers have proven important to SAWS’ diversification and conservation efforts.

treated water infographic

AT&T Center Recycled Water Retrofit
Partnering with business is key to planning for the future, reducing water use and ensuring water quality. Companies that use recycled water – like Spurs Sports & Entertainment, which teamed up with SAWS in 2008 to add water-saving features at the AT&T Center – save 1.1 billion gallons of Edwards water each year.

Today, more than 130 miles of pipelines deliver highly treated recycled water to over 80 customers. A wide range of customers include industrial and commercial users, golf courses, municipal parks, universities, military, as well as healthcare. The system can provide up to 25,000 AFY*, thereby conserving large amounts of potable water. About 15,000 AFY has been contracted, with more customers pending connection to the system every year to take advantage of the recycled water benefits:

  • Cost effective for customers – lower cost alternative
  • Environmentally responsible – using recycled water reduces demand on our potable water supply

The system was also designed to supplement base flows in the San Antonio River and Salado Creek. Annually, approximately 5,800 AFY is used to ensure flow during low flow periods or in the event of a drought.  The result has been significant and lasting environmental improvements for the aquatic ecosystems in these streams.

In addition to supplying base flow to the San Antonio River and serving our recycled water customers, SAWS also supplied CPS Energy over 32,700 AF of recycled water for use in their electrical generation through a bed and banks permit in 2023. Combined, this accounted for about 50,800 AF of recycled water distributed, about 15.4% of SAWS’ total water demand (potable and non-potable) in 2023.

Recycle Water Project map



Water Recycling

In San Antonio we have learned to turn wastewater into valuable resources. We call it our environmental “trifecta” of recycled water, organic biosolids and methane gas.


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AFY – 1 acre foot per year  = 325,851 gallons per year