SAWS News: Pounding the Rock
Aquifer Beaker

Edwards Aquifer

Aquifer Level 678.8'
7/17/19 - 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 678.8 | Year-Round Watering Hours

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Pounding the Rock

When it comes to the different types of terrain one must cross to build a 142-mile pipeline, Forrest Gump's infamous box of chocolates seems an apt metaphor: You never know what you're gonna get.

Fortunately, much of the Vista Ridge pipeline route crosses sandy Central Texas farms and ranches — a recipe for trouble-free trenching and backfilling, as this photo from Burleson County can attest:


At the other end of the spectrum there's the Bexar County portion of the pipeline. The southeastern tip of the Texas Hill County is no sandbox, that's for sure. The typical terrain may only include a couple of inches of topsoil, if that much, covering a seemingly endless expanse of solid limestone. What to do? Cue the rock trenchers:

These bad boys are pretty effective, but they're also rather slow, only grinding out a couple hundred feet of trench per day. Because the furrow needs to be so wide to accommodate the large-diameter pipe, a smaller trenching machine starts the cut, followed by the Papa Bear to finish the job:


Because many of the excavation sites are adjacent to residential areas, workers often spray a steady stream of water into the trench to keep blowing limestone dust at bay.


Not exactly a Mike Rowe-level dirty job, but pretty grimy nonetheless.


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