San Antonio City Council approves SAWS rate increase

8.4 rate hike means $3.50 average residential bill increase

San Antonio City Council approved an 8.4 percent increase Thursday requested by San Antonio Water System.

The 8-3 vote came after about three hours of discussion, which was contentious at times.

"I'm not going to party to the behavior of, 'we just ask for whatever we want and we just hope we get it,'" said District 10 Councilman Carlton Soules.

Beginning in March, the average residential customer can expect to pay about $3.50 more a month for SAWS services.

"While investing in our city's infrastructure and developing new water resources, SAWS continues to provide sustainable affordable water services and maintains some of the lowest rates in Texas," said SAWS President and CEO Robert Puente.

SAWS plans to fight sewer spills by cleaning sewer pipes that can become clogged by grease and debris. After cleaning, the pipes are inspected or televised. Some pipes will require further repair or rehabilitation work. In some cases, additional capacity is provided through the construction of a larger pipe.

The City Council also approved the following changes to the city's drought ordinance that take effect Feb. 18.

  • Sprinkler use allowed 7-11 a.m. and 7-11 p.m. on your watering day during drought Stages 2 through 4. The hours for Year-Round and Stage 1 remain the same.
  • Home car washing is allowed in drought stages on Saturday or Sunday as long as there is no water waste or run off.
  • Indoor, small residential, and small commercial fountains can operate at any stage of drought.
  • Large commercial fountain can operate in drought stages with approval of conservation plan.
  • Hand watering is still allowed any day and time during all drought stages.

Those with irrigation systems will need to adjust controllers for the new watering times in drought Stages 2 through 4.

According to SAWS, the changes will provide residents with more opportunities to save water and money without compromising their landscapes by participating in effective residential and commercial conservation programs.

More information on rates and on changes to the drought ordinance are available at saws.org.


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