SAN ANTONIO – Residents in a Northeast Side neighborhood tell KSAT they were frustrated with a water main break they said took some time to fix.
People living in the Crownwood subdivision at the corner of Shallow Ridge and Ridge Moon Drive said they reported the water main break on Wednesday night. A homeowner said the break started small but grew as the days passed.
A SAWS crew fixed the line on Tuesday morning, but residents questioned what led to the delay.
Anne Hayden, a SAWS spokesperson, said the utility is experiencing record levels of main breaks, and the issue is not just unique to San Antonio.
“The drought is really affecting water systems throughout the country, affecting infrastructure everywhere. As a result, we’ve had over 700 main breaks in July, and we’re really having to prioritize where we’re going,” said Hayden. “We have five contractors, as well as SAWS crews, working. We’re also trying to focus on doing most of our work overnight and early in the morning when the heat isn’t quite as brutal,” said Hayden.
Hayden said SAWS is also triaging reports coming in and wants to ensure they respond to breaks that lead to customer water outages, could cause flooding damage to a street or home, or block a road.
The water main break in the Crownwood neighborhood did not lead to any street or home damage.
“When that’s happening, we’re trying to get people out there. It may be something that we’re just getting people out there to shut down a valve to affect the flow so we can reduce the amount of flow going into the street,” said Hayden. “We’re scheduling crews, getting the equipment ready. There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes on even if we’re not there.”
Crownwood resident Eddie Lee told KSAT he was concerned about water rushing onto the street during drought restrictions.
“I’m glad they showed up, but it’s a little late,” said Lee. “With us being in the drought that we’re in, these are the kind of things that we need to take care of.”
Hayden said she understands residents’ concerns about water potentially being wasted.
“We know that in a year like this, we’re going to have more water loss than we would like,” said Hayden. “However, we bill that back into our cost of services, so it’s not going to affect your rates. It’s not going to affect your bill, but it’s something that we try to keep down as much as possible.”
SAWS also recommends residents be as clear as possible when reporting a line break.
“Try to give us key information. Exactly where is the main break? What’s happening? Is it affecting your home? Is it affecting other homes? Is there property damage involved? Is there a key facility like a hospital or a school or a daycare that’s being affected?” said Hayden. “A priority one break is something that’s going to involve a loss of service for a good number of people.”