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Mother Lode Water Districts Ask Customers To Conserve Water During PSPS

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Sonora, CA – With a possible PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) “watch” currently underway, Mother Lode water districts urges customers to be prepared.

Tuolumne Utilities District (TUD) asks customers to store extra water at their homes, conserve water, and limiting outdoor water use until the power is restored. District officials relay that while they “anticipate minimal service interruption, an extended power outage could result in reduced water pressure or loss of water in some service areas.” TUD adds that customers who have had low water pressure or no water in past power outages can expect the same in this outage.

Calaveras County water utility customers are also being asked to conserve water during the PSPS. The county’s water and sewer providers, including Calaveras County Water District (CCWD), are jointly urging customers to conserve water and only use it for critical health and safety needs during the slated power shutoff that could take place from Sunday, Oct. 25 into Tuesday, Oct. 27 and could remain off for as long as five days.

The utilities note that while most county water and sewer utilities have backup generators for key infrastructure facilities, indoor and outdoor water conservation will help lessen the load on them, as well as reduce the negative impacts of possible generator failures, such as loss of water treatment capacity or sewage spills. Utility officials urge customers to avoid any unnecessary uses of water, including watering lawns and outdoor landscaping, washing vehicles, filling swimming pools, washing off hardscapes, flushing toilets after every use, washing clothes, running the dishwasher, and taking baths or long showers.

It is also is very important to conserve water entering the septic tank, as small electric pumps will not function during power outages unless a generator is in use, according to CCWD. They add that septic tanks could overflow, including even some homes that are connected to a sewer collection system that use a septic tank pump systems or grinder pump systems, as they require power to function. Additionally, those grinder pump tanks have almost no storage and could overflow even with very little water usage. In that case, residents are advised to stop the flow of water immediately.

Here is a list of the Calaveras utilities: Calaveras County Water District (CCWD),
City of Angels Camp, San Andreas Sanitary District (SASD), Blue Lake Springs Mutual Water
Company (BLSMWC), Union Public Utility District (UPUD), Calaveras Public Utility District
(CPUD), Valley Springs Public Utilities District (VSPUD) and Murphys Sanitary District (MSD).