About Your Water
Source of Drinking Water
The sources of drinking water (both tap water and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs, and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally-occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity.
Contaminants that may be present in source water include:
- Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural, livestock operations, and wildlife. SAWS samples 360 sites in the distribution system for bacteria each month, and no E. coli positives were found in our drinking water in 2018.
- Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally-occurring or result from urban storm water runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming.
- Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban storm water runoff, and residential uses.
- Organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gas stations, urban storm water runoff, and septic systems.
- Radioactive contaminants, which can be naturally-occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.
Where Do We Get Our Drinking Water?
The source of SAWS drinking water originated as groundwater from the Edwards, Carrizo, Trinity and Wilcox aquifers, and in some areas, surface water from Canyon Lake.
A Source Water Susceptibility Assessment for your drinking water source(s) is currently being updated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. This information describes the susceptibility and types of constituents that may come into contact with your drinking water source based on human activities and natural conditions.
The information contained in the assessment allows us to better focus our source water protection strategies. Some of this source water assessment information is available on Texas Drinking Water Watch at http://dww2.tceq.texas.gov/DWW/.
For more information on source water assessments and protection efforts at our systems, please contact us. Additional information on water resources is available in our Water Resources section of this site.
All Drinking Water May Contain Contaminants
When drinking water meets federal standards, there may not be any health benefits to purchasing bottled water or point of use devices. Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline 800-426-4791.
Many constituents (such as calcium, sodium, or iron), which are found in drinking water, can cause taste, color, and odor problems. The taste and odor constituents are called secondary constituents and are regulated by the State of Texas, not the EPA. These constituents are not causes for health concern. Therefore, secondaries are not required to be reported in this document, but they may affect the appearance and taste of your water. The secondary constituents results are available for this System on Texas Drinking Water Watch at http://dww2.tceq.texas.gov/DWW/.
Health Information About Lead
If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing. San Antonio Water System is responsible for providing high quality drinking water but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components. When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by fl ushing your tap for 30 seconds to two minutes before using water for drinking or cooking. If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested. Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline or at http://www.epa.gov/your-drinking-water.