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Water wasters are getting tickets in San Antonio

SAWS has issued 175 citations so far for not following Stage 2 water restrictions.

SAN ANTONIO — With high temperatures and high demand for water, the San Antonio Water System is now issuing tickets to water wasters.

Anyone caught in the act by SAWS inspectors will end up with an automatic citation that means a trip to municipal court.

“We've been in Stage 2 for a while now and everybody should know their days," said SAWS Communications Manager Anne Hayden.

Hayden said the effort to cut down on waste is ongoing.  

“If you are outside of your day and time, if there's water being wasted, we do have patrols out in neighborhoods checking key areas where we know that there is high water use,” Hayden said.

So far, Hayden said they have issued 175 citations that are in process right now in the city's municipal court system.

If you are tired of trying to manage dead or dying turf in the high heat during dry conditions, Hayden said now is a good time to take advantage of their water saving incentives.

“We have programs in place where we will pay you to replace portions of the lawn and we will also help you design, plant and replace it with something else that will last better,” Hayden said.

Hayden said they encourage anyone who is concerned about water waste to help them with the enforcement process by filing a report online.

“We've got a city of about two million people at this point, and any help we can have in finding the right places to look for is helpful,” Hayden said.

“It gives you an opportunity to put in the exact address," Hayden said of the online process. "If you have pictures, those can be included, along with any special notes.”  

Hayden said they are not keeping records on who turns in the reports, but she added the online system will not result in an immediate citation.

“If you are concerned, you can report it online and we will issue a warning,” Hayden said.

Hayden said SAWS is currently pumping over 300 million gallons of water a day and the demand is putting a physical strain on the system. So far in the month of June, Hayden says they have responded to more than 440 water main breaks.

“It's not a dire situation, but we need to respect that it's very dry," Hayden said. "It's very early in the year to be this dry and we have to work together to make sure we pull through.”

Stage 2 restrictions can be found here.

Water and money saving ideas can be found here.

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