September 25, 2020
EBMUD deploys equipment to ensure reliable water delivery during public safety power shutoffs
Portable generators and pumps in place at critical sites for 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 power outages expected this fall.
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.
“Though loss of power is always a serious challenge, no EBMUD customer lost water or wastewater service during PSPS events last year because of our preparation,” said EBMUD Board President Marguerite Young. “EBMUD is prepared again this year. We have dozens of generators to supplement our equipment to keep critical operations running, including neighborhood pumping plants that play a vital role in delivering water every day.”
Preparation at EBMUD facilities
Neighborhood pumping plants play an important role in the water distribution system, moving water to tanks in the hills for customers to use. These pumping plants do not typically have built-in back-up generators; so, EBMUD has taken steps to ensure they keep running by temporarily staging generators or backup pumps at many of these sites. When fire danger is high and Red Flag Warnings are in effect, EBMUD fills neighborhood tanks so they are at maximum capacity for customers and firefighters.
EBMUD’s wastewater facilities at the foot of the Bay Bridge are also 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. However, when a PSPS occurs, EBMUD will notify and ask customers in areas affected by PSPS to temporarily stop outdoor water use and minimize indoor water use to preserve water supplies. Please verify your contact information at ebmud.com/my-account so EBMUD can reach you in an emergency. During an event, go to ebmud.com/psps to view a map showing affected areas.
EBMUD recommends that all Bay Area residents store back-up water supplies to prepare for 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 treatment serves 685,000 customers and protects the San Francisco Bay.