Weather Alert

SAWS is blowing smoke…over the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – If things look a little foggy in your neighborhood, it could be the result of San Antonio Water System crews blowing smoke through sewer lines over the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone to make sure there are no leaks that could affect the quality of our drinking water.

“We basically blow smoke into the sewer mains and look for defects,” said Jeff Haby, SAWS Vice President of Production and Treatment.

Smoke escaping from sewer laterals will be visible as it comes up from the ground, indicating a leak. Some problem spots showed up during testing Thursday on Spring Club Drive, a Northwest Side neighborhood near Babcock Road at De Zavala.

SAWS contractors test for sewer leaks over Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone/KTSA Photo-Elizabeth Ruiz

“What we’ll do is mark where that defect is and take pictures of it,” said Haby. They’ll place a flag where smoke was seen coming from the ground and send a notice with a photo to the homeowners asking them to get it fixed.

If smoke is seen coming from vents on the roof, that’s okay. That’s what’s supposed to happen. It’s the smoke coming from the ground that signifies a problem.

SAWS contractors test for sewer leaks over the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone/KTSA Photo-Elizabeth Ruiz

The tests , which are required every five years by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, began this month and are scheduled to continue through 2020. If you live over the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone, you’ll be notified before the tests begin in your neighborhood. You’ll be asked to run water or pour water into all drains, sinks toilets, baths and showers when you get the door hanger notice. The fire department also is notified about the testing because people may think there’s a house fire if they see smoke coming from the roof vents.

SAWS testing sewer lines over the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone/KTSA Photo-Elizabeth Ruiz

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