San Antonio

One family’s water main break is another’s irrigation system

A west-side family is not letting runaway water go to waste, as a substitute harvesting it for his or her backyard.

SAN ANTONIO — As if it has been assaulted by an indignant porcupine, San Antonio’s water-delivery system has been poked filled with holes by the drought.

What was 100 or so water main breaks monthly rose to greater than 400 in June and 700 in July. By the top of August, officers say, they anticipate they will have seen at the least 800 breaks. 

But in a west-San Antonio neighborhood, when water was flowing within the streets from a break for an prolonged interval, one household did greater than grouse concerning the waste. On Vera Cruz Street, members of the Sanchez household took motion, dusting off a small pump that they had readily available and placing it to make use of by harvesting the water for his or her lush front-yard backyard.

“We hate to see all this waste, especially in this drought that we’re having,” Leticia Sanchez stated. “So my brother owns a sump pump and decided to hook it up to the hose and he watered our yard, which had been lacking in rain.”

Sanchez stated she’s glad her brother considered such a artistic thought. 

“I’m glad he thought of it, and actually he had been thinking about it for a week, because this has been going on for two weeks maybe,” Sanchez stated.

She stated her brother put the pump on the curb, the place there was sufficient water flowing to push what had been wasted right into a backyard hose and into their yard.

Sanchez stated her brother is the member of the family who inherited a inexperienced thumb from their mom, who is now deceased.  The brother has faithfully maintained the crops his mom left behind, and added new varieties that stood to learn from the free bathtub.

“During this time when all these leaks are happening throughout the city, you would think that someone would get a bucket brigade going,” Sanchez stated, marveling that extra of her neighbors weren’t benefiting from the free liquid useful resource.  

San Antonio Water System Communications Manager Anne Hayden stated the excessive variety of breaks has resulted in restore crews responding to probably the most harmful conditions first.

“Even though we have our crews out there, as well as five contractors responding to main breaks, we’re having to first respond to the main breaks that are most severe and those are the main breaks that are causing outages, or causing damage to roadways or property,” Hayden stated.

“There are so many main breaks, we are having to triage, just like you went into an emergency room and a person with a heart attack comes in and gets treatment before somebody with a cut finger,” Hayden added. “We’re having to take care of those most critical main breaks first and then we also take care of the others but maybe not as quickly.”

Hayden stated clients usually fail to comprehend that earlier than a crew can begin digging to seek out an issue, there is preliminary work that should be accomplished.

“We are marking the utilities and getting the materials ready, so that when we get out there to make these repairs we can be most efficient,” Hayden stated, including they’re scheduling many roles within the evenings and into the evening for the protection of restore crews.

“If something is reported, even if it’s severe, in the afternoon when it is most hot, we’re probably going to get the critical work done, control the outage, control the flowing water first, so that we can finish the repair later in the evening when it’s a little bit cooler,” Hayden stated.

Hayden stated San Antonians ought to be proud to be water-conscious and anxious about breaks. She additionally stated that even when a small break has been reported, it is essential to report updates if the state of affairs adjustments.

“If instead of just seeping down the street, now it’s gushing? Don’t assume that because you’ve reported it once, you don’t need to report it again if it’s gotten worse. Please let us know. Because if it is getting worse, we want to know about it because it will go up on the priority list,” Hayden stated. 

While SAWS struggles to maintain up, Hayden stated she is aware of San Antonio is not alone within the battle.

“We have an exceptional drought going on in most of Texas right now and infrastructure is being affected everywhere. Large and small communities all over the state are dealing with this,” Hayden stated.

Speaking emphatically, Hayden stated, “Believe me. We at SAWS are taking this very seriously. But when you have thousands and thousands of miles of pipe, unfortunately, you can’t take care of all of the breaks at once.” 

To report an issue to the native water utility, click here.

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