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Water Violations In San Antonio Could Get Costly

The San Antonio Water System is stepping up enforcement since levels at the Edwards Aquifer test well triggered Stage 1 Watering Restrictions several weeks ago. 

SAWS Conservation Director Karen Guz says that until now, simple warnings have been issued for restrictions violators. Now, enforcement will come at a price.

"Officers at this point are likely to issue a citation the first time they see somebody watering the wrong day," she says.

By "wrong day," she's talking about the designated day for watering, depending on the home's address.

"If your street address ends in a zero or 1, your watering day is Monday. If it ends in 2 or 3, it's Tuesday. So everybody gets a Monday through Friday, there's no spray irrigation on the weekends," Guz says.

The citation for violating those restrictions are like a speeding ticket and will go before a judge.

"It's up to the judge in municipal court, but in the past they're averaged around $130 per citation," she says.

Now SAWS is upping the ante even further by enlisting the help of citizens.

"If you're driving around and you see what looks like water waste or a site that just hasn't gotten on board with the rules yet, you can go online to saws.org/waterwaste, and there's a form where you can let us know what you're seeing and where you're seeing it," Guz says.

Exemptions on water restrictions are not extended to businesses.

"People often assume that maybe businesses don't have to follow the rules," she says. "Well, yeah – they do. Businesses have an assigned day just like we do."

Restrictions could even get tighter as the temperature is likely to stay high in August.

"If we don't get rain in the next couple of weeks there's a good chance that we'll be in Stage 2," Guz says.

Find more about the Restriction Stages here and the San Antonio Water System here

Watch a video on SAWS' Water Management Plan here

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii