Public Safety Power Shutoff
Preparing for Public Safety Power Shutoffs during high fire risk periods
PG&E may turn off electricity in designated areas when extreme fire danger conditions are forecasted such as Red Flag Warnings, low humidity, high winds, and dry conditions which typically occur June through November. The specific areas and the number of affected customers will depend on weather conditions and which circuits PG&E turns off for public safety. These precautions are called Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS).
What does this mean for your water service?
A PSPS may affect more than the electricity running to your home - homes and businesses could also be without water service. The District has developed an action plan should areas in our water service area lose power which includes filling our water tanks to near capacity and then relying on generators to provide you water. These generators will power pumps, water treatment plants and other key facilities to keep water flowing, maintain storage and fire flow, and keep water distribution lines pressurized. Backup generators are the District’s best option, however, generators and fuel are limited and it will be challenging for us to maintain the system with water if the outage lasts several days.
During a PSPS outage, it is VERY important for YOU to conserve water, even if your house has power.
A power outage will activate a short-term Stage 5 Critical Water Shortage Emergency. Stage 5 Measures for customers include the following:
- No outdoor irrigation
- No water for recreational purposes
- No draining or refilling of existing or new pools or hot tubs
- No water use for aesthetic purposes (ornamental fountains, ponds) except to support aquatic life
- No vehicle washing
- No exterior washing of structures
Pools/hot tubs must be covered when not in use
Here is what we are doing to prepare:
We are working with PG&E to ensure we receive as much advance notice as possible so we can prepare and initiate our response. When a PSPS Warning is issued, our operators will top off our tanks and ensure that our generators also have fuel as notice allows. We are managing vegetation around our facilities as feasible to reduce fire risk. We will notify customers when PG&E notifies us of a potential power shutoff.
What can you do?
Before a PSPS event:
- Make sure your contact information is updated with SqCWD and your local energy company.
- Store a minimum of two gallons of water per person per day, enough to last three to seven days, and don’t forget your pets. The more water you can store, the better.
- Identify your unique/critical water needs and plan ahead.
- Clear property of excess, dead and highly flammable vegetation. Trim grass and vegetation at least 30 feet around your home.
- If you have a backup generator, test it and ensure it’s ready to operate safely.
During a PSPS event:
- Minimize water use during an event to leave as much water in the reservoirs as possible for firefighting.
- Shut off irrigation.
- Reduce indoor water use.
- Stay tuned; there will be ongoing updates available through social media, news media and on SqCWD’s website.
After a PSPS event:
- Restock your water supplies
- Prepare for the next PSPS event
- Reset your irrigation controller while resetting other electronics to prevent overwatering
We will need public cooperation to ensure we maintain critical water supplies.
Normal water use can resume once the electricity is turned back on.
For more information on PSPS, please visit pge.com/wildfiresafety
Fire-Threat Map with District Boundary