EBMUD Preparing For Power Shutoffs During Fire Season

EBMUD Board President Marguerite Young.

Water Agency Equipping Stations With Pumps And Generators To Maintain Reliable Water Delivery

East Bay Municipal Util­ity District is staging portable generators and pumps at criti­cal facilities in preparation for preemptive power outages PG&E is planning to initiate during high fire risk periods. The emergency equipment, in place from August through November, is necessary to maintain reliable water service to East Bay communities and emergency responders during these outages.

Pumping plants are impor­tant links in the water distri­bution system because they convey water to neighborhood water tanks for daily use. EB­MUD’s water and wastewa­ter treatment plants and some pumping plants have built-in backup power. Because a pre­emptive power outage, called a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS), can affect pumping plants without backup power, 29 emergency back-up genera­tors are being placed in Berke­ley, Castro Valley, Crockett, Danville, Moraga, Oakland, Orinda, Pinole and San Ramon.

“While we can’t predict what will happen this fire sea­son, we can – and must — pre­pare our facilities to fulfill our duty to customers,” said EB­MUD Board President Mar­guerite Young. “What we do now will save critical response time should we lose power.”

Staging equipment in ad­vance of a power outage allows EBMUD to maintain necessary storage levels in neighborhood water tanks. This ensures water is available for firefighting and prevents depressurization of water pipelines. Neighbors near emergency equipment locations may see the emergency equip­ment beginning in August. The equipment will be operated only during a PSPS event; however, residents may hear the equip­ment running during testing.

“We are doing all we can to maintain sufficient water and water pressure during these pro­active power shutdowns,” said General Manager Alex Coate. “During these outages, we will need public cooperation to en­sure we maintain critical water supplies.”

During a PSPS event, affect­ed EBMUD customers should minimize water use by turn­ing off irrigation and reducing outdoor and indoor water use. EBMUD always recommends customers store a minimum of two gallons of water per person per day, plus pets, for three to seven days. If customers have household backup generators, they should be tested to ensure they operate safely.

EBMUD asks customers to check for PSPS updates on eb­mud.com, and follow us @eb­mud on Twitter, Nextdoor and Facebook. For more informa­tion on PSPS, please visit pge.com/wildfiresafety. For water emergencies, please call EB­MUD at 1-866-403-2683.


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