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Water Districts Urge Conservation During Power Shutoff

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San Andreas, CA — Local water and sewer utilities are jointly urging customers to prepare for conserving water during the impending PG&E power shutdown.

As the utility’s current plans are to conduct a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event as early as midnight tonight for some areas — and the effects could last up to five days – water suppliers urge customers to only use water for critical health and safety needs.

Calaveras water districts’ officials today were concerned enough to issue a joint public release. It explains that while most county water and sewer utilities have backup generators for key infrastructure facilities, customers’ water conservation both indoors and outdoors will help lessen the load on the generators during power outages.

They specifically note that customers’ cooperation in conserving water will reduce the negative impacts of possible generator failures. Such failures could trigger loss of water treatment capacity and sewage spills.

Utilities urge customers to avoid any unnecessary uses of water. These include: 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.

With regard to conserving water that will enter the septic tank, folks are asked to minimize water use in sinks, toilets, showers, and washers. The reason is that small electric septic tank pumps will not function during power outages unless a home backup generator is hooked up. This means for those without generators, septic tanks could overflow.

Even some homes that are connected to a sewer collection system use septic tank pump systems or grinder pump systems, which require power to function. Those with sewage grinder pump tanks should keep in mind that these kinds of tanks have essentially no storage at all and could overflow even with very little water usage and must have their water flow stopped immediately.

The above information was jointly released by the following water districts: 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).