SAWS, Schertz And Seguin Now Pumping Drought-Proof Water From Carrizo Aquifer

Jul 18, 2014

SAWS pumping station in Schertz, bringing the first non-Edwards Aquifer water to San Antonio from the Carrizo Aquifer
SAWS pumping station in Schertz, bringing the first non-Edwards Aquifer water to San Antonio from the Carrizo Aquifer
Credit SAWS

Water customers in Northeast San Antonio began benefiting from a new water supply Friday. 

An agreement among the cities of San Antonio, Schertz and Seguin was celebrated with the dedication of the new SAWS pumping station in Schertz that augments SAWS' plan to obtain drought-proof water for its customers.

SAWS Communication Manager Anne Hayden said the agreement has been in the works for ten years – building relationships, buying land that gives SAWS water rights to the Carrizo Aquifer, and striking an agreement to use a large, existing pipeline and share it with the cities of Schertz and Seguin.

“This new project is going to bring in almost 5.2 billion gallons of water per year from Gonzales County," Hayden said.

That’s a lot of water, but Hayden said it’s not enough to relax water restrictions from the Edwards Aquifer Authority.

“This is going to help replace the water that we can’t pump during drought restrictions, but this by itself is not enough," Hayden said. "That’s why we are still looking at another large water project called the Vista Ridge coalition. It’s also in the Carrizo Aquifer, but it’s from northeast of Austin."

Hayden said customers should not notice any change in the water’s taste or hardness once the Carrizo and Edwards waters are mixed. 

(L-R) Alex Briseño, who chaired the SAWS board when the Regional Carrizo Agreement was signed, Pat Jasso, current SAWS Board Trustee, and Robert Puente, SAWS president/CEO.
(L-R) Alex Briseño, who chaired the SAWS board when the Regional Carrizo Agreement was signed, Pat Jasso, current SAWS Board Trustee, and Robert Puente, SAWS president/CEO.
Credit Anne Hayden / SAWS

"What we do is we treat it and we make it taste like Edwards water," Hayden said. "We need to make sure that water, no matter where it's coming from -- whether it's coming from the Carrizo Aquifer, from the Trinity Aquifer, from the Edwards Aquifer, from Canyon Lake -- it's all treated to have the taste and the hardness of the Edwards water. It all needs to blend in the pipelines. So it's going to taste the same wherever you get it in the city."