SAWS vent pipes near San Antonio Zoo become works of art

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – The San Antonio Zoo has taken recycled water system vent pipes and turned them into works of art. Five purple and yellow vertical pipes that stick up from the ground are adorned with giraffe, jaguar, zebra, snake and elephant prints created by the zoo’s graphics team.

“The custom animal prints for these pipes were designed in partnership with SAWS to create a unique experience for visitors,” said Tim Morrow, President & CEO of the San Antonio Zoo.  “Tuleta Drive has really been transformed in recent years creating a much more welcoming arrival experience to the zoo and Brackenridge Park.”

The five themed pipes are found between the entrance to the zoo and the corner of Tuleta and Stadium Drive across from Alamo Stadium.  They add a touch of whimsy to recent improvements at the Will Smith Zoo School, a new parking garage, animal themed VIA bus stops, and landscaping.

SAWS recycled water air vent pipe decorated with giraffe print on Tuleta Dr. at Stadium Drive near San Antonio Zoo/KTSA Photo-Elizabeth Ruiz

San  Antonio Water System President/CEO Robert Puente told KTSA News the vent pipes are an essential part of the recycled water system, which provides up to 29 million recycled gallons of water per day to businesses for irrigation, including the nearby Animal Defense League and Brackenridge Park.

“Air sometimes gets into the recycled line, from maybe a construction project up the road, and we need to get that air out.  You turn it on and air comes out.  Water also will come out, but the vent pipes are usually used as maintenance,” said Puente.

On a hot summer day, it may be tempting to drink the water that comes out of  the vents, but signs placed next to each animal-themed pipe warn that it’s recycled water.  The signs read “Do Not Drink.”

Puente says the beautification project in partnership with the zoo “highlights our national-leading water recycling efforts that save valuable Edwards Aquifer drinking water for the future.”

SAWS recycled water air vent pipe decorated to look like a snake/KTSA Photo-Elizabeth Ruiz


The SAWS ‘running toilet’ mascot and the San Antonio Zoo’s rhino Cowboy do a little dance/KTSA Photo-Elizabeth Ruiz

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