SAWS News: Notorious No More — Catfish Farm Well Permanently Plugged
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Edwards Aquifer

Aquifer Level 686.7'
1/18/19 - 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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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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Notorious No More — Catfish Farm Well Permanently Plugged

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It’s been nearly 30 years since the largest known artesian well in the world was drilled in southwest Bexar County to feed a controversial catfish farm. Now San Antonio Water System has permanently sealed off the infamously abundant 30-inch well with mud and concrete.

Not just any old well, this notorious gusher fed the Living Waters Artesian Springs Catfish Farm with about 53 million gallons a day from the Edwards Aquifer — enough water to serve a town of 250,000, or nearly a fourth of San Antonio’s population at the time.

“When you see it, it is just a water well,” said Kevin Morrison, SAWS project coordinator.

“But it all had such far-reaching consequences and was the catalyst for changing Texas water law.”

SAWS purchased the property, equipment and water rights for about $30 million in three transactions from 2000-2003. The water rights today would cost more than $123 million.

In 2013, SAWS sold the land to the San Antonio River Authority for $315,000, but maintained an easement so it could manage the infamous well.

The site had been used occasionally as a test well in recent years, but deterioration of the well casing led to the decision to cap the monstrous geyser for good. SAWS plans to return the site to its native brushland origins.

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