SAWS:Abandoned Well Program
Aquifer Beaker

Edwards Aquifer

Aquifer Level 681.5'
6/13/19 - Official

The Edwards aquifer and its catchment area in the San Antonio region is about 8,000 square miles and includes all or part of 13 counties in south-central Texas.

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Year-Round Watering Hours

Watering with an irrigation system or sprinkler is allowed any day of the week before 11 a.m. or after 7 p.m.

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Aquifer Level 681.5 | Year-Round Watering Hours

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Water Resource Protection & Compliance

Abandoned Well Program

Safeguarding Our Water Supply


Abandoned water wells are wells in deteriorated condition and pose a serious threat to Edwards Aquifer, Trinity Aquifer, or any other aquifer. Water wells that have not been used for a minimum of six consecutive months, not connected to an active power source, and exist in a deteriorated condition, are defined as "abandoned" and must be plugged. Abandoned wells found in both urban and rural areas are a concern because they are direct conduits for contaminants to enter our water supply.

Unplugged Well wastes water
Abandoned artesian water wells waste large amounts of water. (This well has since been plugged).

SAWS Groundwater Resource Protection Division, as mandated in San Antonio City Code, is the permitting agency for all water well activities within the city limits and SAWS service area. The Groundwater Resource Protection Division is aggressive in its pursuit of identifying abandoned wells and closing them.

Abandoned wells are identified through the inspection of platted or replatted properties, a property inspection when an application for water service is received, or when a concerned citizen notifies SAWS of an abandoned well.

Groundwater Resource Protection inspectors will inspect each platted parcel of land in Bexar County. When an abandoned well is located, the plat is disapproved and the engineering firm/developer is notified.

Trash can pollute an abandoned well.
This illustrates how important it is to identify and ensure the proper closure of abandoned wells, so that our water supply is not polluted by careless acts.

In cases when a well is located on an individual's property where someone has applied for water service, the customer has the option to plug the well or apply for a variance to the plugging requirement.

If the variance is granted the customer will be required to install a backflow prevention device on their incoming service line to prevent any possible cross connection between the well water and SAWS water.

SAWS routinely oversees the plugging of approximately 70 abandoned wells per year.

To report and abandoned well, call the Groundwater Resource Protection Division at 210-233-3477.