SAN ANTONIO – The city of Alamo Heights is replacing much of its aging infrastructure, including its water tower.
Like a lot of cities, the upgrades are necessary to improve efficiency.
The city of Alamo Heights was founded 90 years ago, and that's about how long its old tower has been pumping water to residents.
"It's served its purpose,” Public Works director Patrick Sullivan said. “It's been here all these years."
And soon, the faithful tower will no longer dot the skyline. Two newer towers are waiting in the wings.
Sullivan’s coordinating efforts to replace 10,000 feet of the water main system.
"Basically it had been in the ground for 90 years and still in operation,” he said.
But age took a toll: crews ripped out one pipe and discovered it had a hole in it for quite some time.
"What that does is when the pump is drawing water up to the surface, you're losing volume and you're losing pressure,” Sullivan said.
He said the new wells will be much more efficient by improving the water-loss rate. That’s the difference between the amount of water sold to customers, and the total water drawn from the ground.
"That includes whatever might have been drawn out of the hydrants for flushing the mains,” Sullivan said.
For comparison, SAWS reports a 15% water-loss rate. Sullivan said Alamo Heights will now have less than 4%.
"All these wells take a good deal of energy to run the pumps,” Sullivan said. “If you're not improving and making more efficient motors, or installing more efficient motors, then you're going to be behind the eight-ball."
He said all the new upgrades will not have any affect on water rates.