Frozen or burst pipes? SAWS helps affected customers with free water

Bulk water distribution sites open daily until services fully restored

The San Antonio Water System pumps at seven distribution sites officially opened at noon Friday to provide help for customers.

SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Water System pumps at seven distribution sites officially opened at noon Friday to provide help for customers. The melted ice and snow on the roadways allowed for easier transit for people to fill their containers with water after being days without water due to frozen or burst water pipes.

Customer Roger Fry and his wife Kathleen were third in line at the Jones Maltsberger location.

“Well, our hot water heater broke,” Roger Fry said.

For the last few days they’ve been relying on the kindness of others.

“Our neighbors have water, so we go to their house, fill up small containers and make coffee,” he said.

SAWS employees at some locations helped customers affected by the winter weather pump water. (Copyright 2021 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

SAWS customer Fred Guerrero lined up early Friday morning as well.

“I had a busted pipe in my garage,” Guerrero said. “I had to shut the water down.”

After days without a single drip from his faucet, Guerrero, like many, had to resource to Mother Nature to get water for tasks like washing his dishes.

“The snow helped, you know, for sure.” Guerrero said. “But I haven’t had to drink any snow or drink any (boiled) snow.”

Their need for water was filled Friday afternoon by SAWS employees across the seven distribution points.

“People from all different departments. These (employees) are information technology folks,” SAWS Communications Manager Anne Hayden said. “We have all hands on deck. We’re out here trying to make sure our customers have the water they need.”

Customers are required to bring their own 5-gallon bucket or water jug in order to receive a maximum of 5-gallons of water each day. The pumps will be available until all service is fully restored.

Customers for SAWS are required to bring their own 5-gallon bucket or water jug in order to receive a maximum of 5-gallons of water each day. (Copyright 2021 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

“Remember to bring a lid for (your water container), " Hayden said. “It is important because you don’t want to slash it around in the back of your car.”

SAWS also warns customers of the water leaks more of them may experience as conditions warm up.

“We’ve also posted on our site information and a video on how to turn off your water at the meter,” Hayden said. “Don’t wait for us to come out to turn it off. Don’t wait for a plumber. Take care of turning it off right away.”

Beginning Saturday, all water distribution pump stations will open at 8 a.m. and wrap up services at 6 p.m..

Customers at the Seale, Mission and Seaworld locations must pump their own water.

Check below for the water distribution site closest to you:

  • NACO (drive-thru), 13655 O’Connor Road
  • Seale, 254 Seale Road
  • Mission, 615 E Theo Ave
  • Maltsberger (drive-thru), 8910 Jones Maltsberger
  • University (drive-thru), 7172 Hausman Road
  • Seaworld, 10349 Military Dr. W.
  • SE Booster (drive-thru), 1208 S Loop 1604 W.

About the Authors:

Alicia Barrera is a KSAT 12 News reporter and anchor. She is also a co-host of the streaming show KSAT News Now. Alicia is a first-generation Mexican-American, fluent in both Spanish and English with a bachelor's degree from Our Lady of the Lake University. She enjoys reading books, traveling solo across Mexico and spending time with family.