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Valley Water prepared for potential power outages

October 20, 2020
Santa Teresa Water Treatment Plant from the air

We are in wildfire season and this year's adverse conditions continue to challenge us. But Valley Water remains committed to our preparedness. As we experienced last fall, during dry and windy weather PG&E may activate a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS). PG&E does this to reduce the chance of electrical equipment starting a wildfire by pre-emptively shutting down portions of its system.

Valley Water is ready. We demonstrated last fall that we are prepared for potential power outages through successfully operating during two local PSPS events with no disruption of service to the community.

This year, Valley Water’s emergency and operations staff have built upon 2019’s experiences. We’ve developed specific plans to address the additional challenges of responding to power outages during the Coronavirus public health crisis.

Preparation for power outages include:

  • Valley Water treatment plants have back-up power available.
  • Our stock of fuel for backup generators is above 95% capacity, and vendor contracts are in place if more supply is needed.
  • Mobile generators are ready for pre-deployment to strategic locations in the field to make sure our facilities can continue to operate.
  • A virtual Emergency Operations Center is in place and already operating, due to the pandemic and Santa Clara County Public Health Officer Order.

“As an essential service provider, Valley Water is committed to providing safe, clean water, flood protection and healthy creeks and ecosystems throughout Santa Clara County,” said Nai Hsueh, Chair of the Valley Water Board of Directors. “Being prepared in advance to avoid any disruptions to these services has always been a priority.”

It is uncertain when a PSPS will be scheduled, or when weather-induced outages or state power grid rolling blackouts will occur and how long they may last. However, Valley Water’s emergency preparations and water treatment and delivery operations are well positioned to maintain uninterrupted service to the community.

For more information, see Preparation for Extended Power Outages.

Valley Water manages an integrated water resources system that includes the supply of clean, safe water, flood protection and stewardship of streams on behalf of Santa Clara County's 2 million residents. The district effectively manages 10 dams and surface water reservoirs, three water treatment plants, an advanced recycled water purification center, a state-of-the-art water quality laboratory, nearly 285 acres of groundwater recharge ponds and more than 294 miles of streams. We provide wholesale water and groundwater management services to local municipalities and private water retailers who deliver drinking water directly to homes and businesses in Santa Clara County.