First water wells to supply drinking water in San Antonio getting repairs

Artesian water well repairs causing partial closures to Riverwalk, streets downtown

The artisan wells that are 130 years old are actually still used to supply downtown San Antonio with drinking water and the historical water wells are in need of repairs.

SAN ANTONIO – Artesian wells that were the first to supply water to downtown San Antonio are actually still used and in need of repairs. It’s why the San Antonio Water System has recently shut down part of the Riverwalk and part of Market Street.

“This is the first well that San Antonio had to supply water to the very rapidly growing city,” said Anne Hayden, director of communications at San Antonio Water System.

Hayden said they hope the repairs to the wells will be done before sunset Tuesday.

The artesian water wells in downtown San Antonio are historical and the wells, located near Market Street and Presa Street, were the first wells to supply water back in 1891. Hayden said that’s why they were placed in the heart of downtown, to supply water to the rapidly growing city.

The water wells are very rare and some of the only ones left in the country.

“It’s actually artesian, something that is unheard of in the water world. It pushes water up and these pumps hold the water down,” Hayden said.

How do these repairs work?

SAWS crews pumped 12,600 gallons of mud into the well to pull down the water in order to retrieve the water pumps that need the repairs. It took a massive crane and 18 big rig trucks to haul in all the mud needed.

Crews will take out the pumps in the artesian wells, get them repaired and in 10-12 weeks repeat the same process to replace the repaired pumps.


About the Authors:

Sarah Acosta is a weekend Good Morning San Antonio anchor and a general assignments reporter at KSAT12. She joined the news team in April 2018 as a morning reporter for GMSA and is a native South Texan.

Azian Bermea is a photojournalist at KSAT.