Don’t Pour Your Holidays Down the Drain!

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Salitrillo Waste Water Facility Plant

Did you know that the San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) is a full-service wastewater utility provider serving a portion of northeast Bexar County since 1966? Over the years, we have grown to help provide utilities assistance to communities throughout Wilson, Karnes, and Goliad counties as well.

As part of our commitment to safe, clean, enjoyable creeks and rivers, the River Authority’s Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTP) produce high quality treated water, also known as effluent, to preserve the ecosystems in which the effluent is returned. Through our blog, we want to educate our readers on the wastewater treatment process and share the benefits that effluent provides to the San Antonio River Basin. Read along to learn more about effluent and what you can do to prevent clogged pipes this holiday season!

River Authority Wastewater Treatment Benefits

The River Authority operates and maintains five permitted and active WWTP. These plants, located in East Bexar County, utilize the latest technology to produce a high-quality effluent. Effluent is wastewater treated or untreated that flows out of a treatment plant, sewer, or industry outfall. The effluent that’s treated in the River Authority WWTPs goes directly into the San Antonio River Basin, which benefits the ecosystem. An ecosystem is an interconnected community of living things, such as plants, animals, and microbes, and the nonliving environment, such as air, climate, water, minerals, that surrounds it. A healthy ecosystem is essential for life to thrive, including people.

Don’t Pour Your Holidays Down the Drain!

Feasting is the traditional way to celebrate the holiday season, especially for Thanksgiving! Family and friends may debate over the best way to cook a turkey and who is going to bring the dessert, but there usually isn’t a rush to one of the most important parts of the process – cleaning the dishes.

Why is cleaning the dishes so important, besides not having a dirty kitchen in the morning? The way dishes are cleaned has a direct impact on local wastewater collection lines and the health of area creeks and rivers.

Pouring and washing fats, oils, and grease (FOG) down the sink drain cause grease to build-up in pipes. These build-ups restrict the flow of wastewater from homes and businesses, which leads to clogged pipes and can trigger sewer overflows. Clogged pipes overflow in homes, businesses, and along wastewater lines resulting in contamination to area creeks and rivers and increased costs to residents, business owners, and wastewater service providers, such as the River Authority. So, instead of pouring FOG down the drain this holiday season, remember to scrape your plate into the trash can. You can also re-use old jars or cans for old cooking oil, dressing, and other liquid disposables.

FOG Disposal Reminders


Request a Tour! 

River Authority staff conduct a wastewater treatment plant tour.

 Our award-winning Utilities team also takes part in education outreach to better inform our constituents of the services we provide and the challenges of operating and maintaining wastewater collection systems and wastewater treatment plants. You can visit our website to request a presentation by a River Authority staff member to learn more about our current projects and initiatives or you can also request a tour of one of our WWTP from our Utilities team.

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