SAWS: Grease
Aquifer Beaker

Edwards Aquifer

Aquifer Level 680.5'
6/17/19 - 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 680.5 | Year-Round Watering Hours

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The Ugly Side of Grease in Your Sewer System: Sanitary Sewer Overflows

Sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) can be caused by anything capable of obstructing the flow of wastewater in a sewer. The buildup of solids, fats, oils and grease in the wastewater collection system is a major culprit.

SAWS is working to increase preventative maintenance of sewer lines and reduce such overflows to comply with the federal Clean Water Act.

VIDEO: Giant grease clog hoisted from San Antonio sewer.

When an obstruction blocks the flow of wastewater within a pipe, the wastewater may back up and overflow through a manhole, cleanout, toilet, sink or drain.

This overflowing wastewater may make its way into the environment and into your house or business. Not a pretty sight, right?

And it's a hazard. Here are some of the risks:

  • SSOs contain everything that goes down your drain – and we truly mean EVERYTHING!
  • Additionally, SSOs can carry harmful bacteria, viruses and various diseases.
  • Children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems face added risks.
  • In water bodies, the environmental impacts of sewage include: hypoxia, algal blooms, habitat degradation, floating debris and aquatic species die-offs.

Traditionally, grease is thought of as oil used for frying and bacon grease, but grease and oils can be found in other food items that may surprise you, such as:

  • Baked goods
  • Butter
  • Chicken skins
  • Creams and sauces
  • Frosting
  • Ice cream
  • Milk
  • Salad dressing