San Antonio Water Main Breaks Keeping Crews Busy | Texas Public Radio

San Antonio Water Main Breaks Keeping Crews Busy

Jul 30, 2018

A San Antonio Water System worker assesses water main breaks caused by shifting ground during heat wave.
Credit Contributed photo / San Antonio Water System

The San Antonio Water System reports water main break season has arrived as hot and dry weather conditions continue.

 


SAWS reports water mains and pipes are broken when the ground dries out and shifts. The utility wants the public’s help to find and fix broken mains.

As of Friday, crews working for the utility have responded to 178 main breaks this month, SAWS spokeswoman Lilliana Gonzalez said.

She said if anyone sees a main break, call the SAWS emergency operations center, which is staffed 24/7.  The number is 210-704-7297 (SAWS).

Gonzalez said callers will be asked for the street locations nearest to the main break and a few other questions.

“Give us information on the amount of water and how is it impacting the surrounding area,” she said. “Is it blocking traffic? Is the street undrivable? Is it dangerous for people crossing the street?”

Gonzalez said not all large main breaks will fall under SAWS's jurisdiction for repairs, but report all suspected breaks.

“Not too long ago, we had a 30 foot geyser in the air that people thought was a SAWS main break and it was really a sprinkler head from private property,” she said.

Gonzalez said if water mains operated by SAWS can break in the dead of summer, pipes can bust too, especially those used to water lawns.

Some breaks in lawn sprinkler systems are harder to detect than others, so the first clue may be an unusually high water bill, Gonzalez said.  While customers will still be charged, credit adjustments can be applied to keep utility customer’s money from flowing away, she said.

Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at tpr.org