SAWS to finally replace thousands of feet of pipe after 6 leaks in front of same Castle Hills home

Homeowner says main breaks have caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage to the home’s foundation

CASTLE HILLS, Texas – The San Antonio Water System will replace pipe along the entire stretch of a Castle Hills street after six leaks in front of the same woman’s home since 2020.

SAWS had originally scheduled to replace 3,400 feet of pipe two years from now, but sped up the project on Towne Vue Drive because of the increased number of water main breaks, a spokeswoman said.

Late last month, KSAT Investigates interviewed homeowner Dorian Patrick about the fallout caused by the persistent pipe problems in her front yard.

Foundation problems with her home, most notably at the back door to the house, have gotten worse with each successive leak, Patrick said.

Patrick filed a claim for damages in September after learning that her home needed tens of thousands of dollars in repairs to its foundation.

In a denial letter last year, a SAWS risk management employee informed Patrick that the utility was of the opinion that it was not responsible for the damage.

The employee wrote that SAWS is covered by the Texas Tort Claims Act and that the water main breaks did not involve the negligent use of motor-driven equipment or a motor-driven vehicle.

A SAWS spokeswoman on Thursday said via email any updates on a second damage claim filed by Patrick would be communicated directly with her.

Two videos recorded in 2021 show a portion of Patrick’s yard caved in and large amounts of water rushing into the front of her home and then around the structure.

Large rocks on Patrick's roof after a water main break in front of her home. (KSAT)

A more recent main break shot a geyser of water at her home, leaving large rocks on her roof.

During an interview last month, Patrick struggled to open the back door to her home, an obvious safety hazard in the event of an emergency.

Additionally, a significant main break washed away the St. Augustine grass that was in Patrick’s front yard.

Water sprays onto the roof of Dorian Patrick's home during a recent main break. (KSAT)

She eventually installed landscaping near her driveway, which was subsequently wiped out by a separate main break.

Days after the story aired, the pipe in Patrick’s front yard again began to leak, forcing SAWS to again replace a section of pipe.

“We will use a pipe bursting process to minimize excavation, time, and disruption in the area. The main will stay in the same alignment as the existing main. Temporary waterlines will run above ground to minimize service interruptions,” a SAWS spokeswoman told KSAT via email.

SAWS will mobilize equipment Friday and residents in the area are being notified that work is beginning, a spokeswoman said via email Thursday.

About the Authors

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.

Joshua Saunders is an Emmy award-winning photographer/editor who has worked in the San Antonio market for the past 20 years. Joshua works in the Defenders unit, covering crime and corruption throughout the city.

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