The San Antonio Water System (SAWS) is proposing a 6.8 percent increase in water and sewer rates for next year. 

Anne Hayden with SAWS says the bulk of the rate increase is needed to meet an agreement with the EPA to reduce sewer spills.

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The San Antonio Water system is pulling on customers' heartstrings to gain support for its rate increases with a TV, radio, billboard and online advertising campaign over the next few months.

SAWS spokeswoman Anne Hayden says the utility realized its need to raise awareness among its constituency to support its requests for rate increases over the coming years.  She says those increases are necessary to continue to upgrade infrastructure throughout the city, as well as for the Vista Ridge project.

Louisa Jonas / Texas Public Radio

A sewage water recycling center that smells good? One that doesn’t use chemicals? Dos Rios Water Recycling Center is the largest of San Antonio Water System’s recycling centers. The plant treats about 80 million gallons of sewage water a day using biological processes that attract unwanted pests. The solution has involved using nature to control nature.

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The Texas Living Waters Project, a partnership of the National Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, and Galveston Bay Foundation, has released the first-of-its-kind Texas Water Conservation Scorecard. It’s an in-depth analysis and ranking of the water conservation efforts of more than 300 water utilities in Texas.

Last night, the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) held the first of four public meeting on the changes to the 142 -mile Vista Ridge Pipeline. The $3.4 billion deal, which covers 50,000 acre feet of water per year for 30 years, will have a change in ownership.

Spanish Conglomerate Abengoa, struggling to pay its debts, had to sell 80 percent of its position in the deal. Garney Construction, which has worked with SAWS on several projects, has been selected as the company that will step in.