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Milberger's Nursery and Landscaping
3920 North Loop 1604 E.
San Antonio, TX 78247

Open 9 to 6 Mon. through Sat.
and 10 to 5 on Sun.

Three exits east of 281, inside of 1604
Next to the Diamond Shamrock station
Please click map for more detailed map and driving directions.

Drought StrategiesMulchTo Water or Not To Water
Water Saver Rebate
Q&A Weekly Article and Archives



            The San Antonio Water System was recognized by the Texas section of the American Water Works Association for two conservation programs in 2000: The Texas Trail Tent at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo and the Philips Semiconductor Large Scale Retrofit Rebate. Both state winners will be considered for national recognition next.

            This was a record year for attendance at the Rodeo in general, and The Texas Trail tent specifically. One hundred fifty-eight thousand (158,000) people passed through the tent to view the water conservation, wildlife and horticulture displays. SAWS’ contribution was to provide the old-fashioned low water use garden, complete with rainwater harvesting demonstration; the Edwards Aquifer cave to allow youth and adults to see where our water is coming from; a photo history of water delivery in the San Antonio area; information sheets on xeriscape, pollution control, wildscape, SAWS rebates, and many other topics; and SAWS volunteers to answer water quality and water conservation questions. As part of the education effort, a curriculum to use at the tent was sent to each teacher bringing a class to the Rodeo.

            SAWS Texas Trail Tent Coordinator Melva Rivera reports that there were many important partners in the award-winning effort at the Rodeo. Frost Bank is the chief sponsor of The Texas Trail tent and the Bexar County Master Gardeners organized the effort. Hundreds of volunteers participated. In addition to the Master Gardeners, there were folks from the Master Naturalists, Texas Agricultural Extension Service, Bexar County 4-H, Texas Parks & Wildlife, Texas Forest Service, Victoria Zoo, Milbergers Nursery, Fanicks Garden Center, KLUP Radio, Phil’s Nursery, Express-News, Mortellaro’s Nursery, Fertile Garden Supply, and many more.

            The second award was given for the SAWS Large Scale Retrofit Program, specifically for the Philips Semiconductor rebate. This rebate was significant for its size and for the water that will be saved as a result of the Philips technology retrofit.

            SAWS awards commercial firms up to 50% of the costs of retrofits or $200 per acre-foot saved, whichever is less. In the case of Philips, SAWS large scale retrofit coordinator Ed Wilcut says that the firm spent over three million dollars for technology change to treat and recycle its chip rinse water. The result will be a water savings of 465,000 gallons per day of water, enough to meet the water needs of 1,036 families! It is also enough water savings in one year to fill the Alamo Dome to the point where the curved roof begins.

            The $1,035,000 that SAWS is providing to help cover the costs of the Philips technology change will be provided in installments over seven years. SAWS staff believes it is the largest rebate ever awarded by a water utility to a water customer for a water conservation retrofit. Funds for commercial water conservation programs come from a meter fee that every commercial ratepayer pays every month. Residential conservation programs are funded from the 9 cents per 100 gallons fee paid by ratepayers that use enough water that they are paying the highest water rate (4th tier).

            Since 1984 SAWS customers have reduced their water use from 212 gallons per person to 147 gallons/person. The rate of water use is about 75% that of Austin, New Braunfels and San Marcos, and about 65% that of Dallas. Conservation programs have contributed to the increased efficiency. In addition to educational events like The Texas Trail tent and the large scale retrofits for commercial firms, SAWS offers free low flow toilets or $75 rebates to both commercial and residential ratepayers, rebates for xeriscape landscapes, rebates for rain sensors, rebates for efficient washing machines, and a large array of classes and information. For more information call SAWS at 704-SAVE or 704-7527.