SAWS News: Vista Ridge Pipeline Construction Hits Home Stretch
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6/13/19 - Official

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Vista Ridge Pipeline Construction Hits Home Stretch

The end is near – the end of the pipeline, that is. There’s less than 40 miles to go before construction of the Vista Ridge pipeline is complete.

The project – the largest non-Edwards Aquifer water supply in San Antonio’s history – will deliver more than 16 billion gallons per year from the Carrizo and Simsboro aquifers in Burleson County. That's enough to meet 20 percent of the city’s water needs in a system that serves 1.7 million people.image

About 105 miles of the 142-mile pipeline — or 74 percent — is already in the ground, traversing seven counties from Burleson to Bexar.

“There are four crews installing 60-inch and 54-inch pipe in different areas at the same time,” said SAWS engineering manager Marty Jones, adding that the construction contractor’s progress is impressive. “They’re really moving fast despite all the wet weather we’ve had.”

Construction of the well field in Burleson County is also moving at a swift pace. Drilling is complete for all 18 wells. There are nine well sites, each with two wells – one in the deeper Simsboro aquifer and one in the shallower Carrizo aquifer.

Adjacent to the well field is the powerful pump station where all the water will be treated to drinking water standards before it’s piped to San Antonio. The site houses a 4-million-gallon storage tank, disinfection facility and high service pumps.

But perhaps the most impressive sight is the colossal cooling tower that will lower the temperature of just-pumped groundwater from 110 degrees to 83 degrees. At 300 feet long, 50 feet wide and four stories tall, Jones said “it’s worth the trip out there just to see this.”

Meanwhile, at Agua Vista Station in Stone Oak, SAWS contractors are just about done with the second 10-million-gallon tank that will receive and distribute the Vista Ridge water. Crews are continuing their work on the buried piping and electrical components at that facility.

“We accomplished a lot in 2018, but there’s still a lot to do,” said Jones. “The main focus for SAWS this year will be getting all the integration components constructed and tested so we can accept this water and integrate it into our system.”

The new water supply comes on line for testing in January 2020 with full delivery scheduled for April 2020.

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