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San Antonio Water Main Breaks Keeping Crews Busy

Example of one of the worst main breaks in recent years from SAWS
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

Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at brian@tpr.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian