October 12, 2021
EBMUD deploys equipment to ensure reliable water delivery during Public Safety Power Shutoffs
No effect on water system; portable generators and pumps in place at critical sites for duration of fire season
OAKLAND – The East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) has stationed 40 portable generators and pumps at critical facilities in Alameda and Contra Costa counties to keep water flowing during Pacific Gas and Electric’s (PG&E) preemptive public safety power outages.
The emergency equipment will remain in place through the fire season to maintain reliable water service for East Bay communities and emergency responders during Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS). PG&E implements these preemptive power outages to prevent its equipment from igniting wildfires during high-fire danger periods. EBMUD was not affected by the first PSPS event to impact the East Bay Area for the 2021 season.
“As close partners to PG&E and local, state and federal fire departments, EBMUD is committed to doing all we can to lessen the threat of devastating wildfires, including providing ample water for fire-fighting efforts, helping customers firescape around their homes, and reducing fuel sources on our own land,” said EBMUD Board President Doug Linney. “For the third consecutive year, EBMUD has prepared for reliable service with staged emergency equipment at critical points in our system. We thank our customers for supporting these efforts by conserving water when the power is out.”
Preparation at EBMUD facilities
Neighborhood pumping plants play an important role in the water distribution system, moving water uphill to tanks for customers to use in more than 120 pressure zones in the EBMUD service area. These pumping plants do not typically have built-in back-up generators, so when PG&E electrical power is not available, EBMUD maintains pumping with pre-staged generators and portable pumps. When fire danger is high and Red Flag Warnings are in effect, EBMUD fills neighborhood tanks ahead of time so they are at maximum capacity for customers and firefighters.
EBMUD’s wastewater facilities at the foot of the Bay Bridge also are ready for PSPS. With advance notice of a PSPS event from PG&E, EBMUD can shift electrical loads and prepare onsite generators to ensure safe treatment and discharge of wastewater to protect public health and San Francisco Bay.
Customers asked to minimize water use during power shutoffs
EBMUD does not anticipate water service disruptions. When a PSPS occurs, EBMUD will notify customers in affected areas to temporarily reduce consumption indoors, and suspend water use outside, to support our efforts to preserve water supplies for the duration of the event. During a PSPS, visit ebmud.com/psps for a map of affected neighborhoods being asked to conserve.
Please also verify your customer contact information at ebmud.com/my-account for emergencies.
EBMUD recommends that all Bay Area residents store back-up water in case of earthquakes, storms and other emergencies. Keep a minimum of two gallons per person, per day, for seven days – and don’t forget pets. To learn more about how to store emergency water visit ebmud.com/waterstorage.
The East Bay Municipal Utility District has a proud history of providing high-quality drinking water for 1.4 million customers in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. EBMUD’s wastewater system serves 740,000 customers and helps protect the ecosystem of San Francisco Bay. EBMUD is a not-for-profit public agency established in 1923.