Are You Water Ready if Power is Turned Off?

MWC recently received a message from the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board comments are in italics below). We’ve published portions of it here and a copy is being mailed to all members as well because it has some good advice; not just for us, but for you, too. Our responses to their message are noted in bold.

Due to the upcoming extreme heat and fire hazard, the power utilities are implementing Public Safety Power Shutoff warnings across California.  If adverse conditions develop in your area, the power serving your water system may be shut off, which may affect the ability of your water system to provide water to customers.  There are several steps we recommend you take now to prepare for any potential power outage:

Ensure that your tanks are full prior to the planned power outage. 
MWC will monitor our tanks and will ensure they are at full capacity prior to any outage. Keep in mind, however, that there is only enough water to supply our customers for 4 days (depending on demand). We will post a notice on the MWC website (https://markleevillewatercompany.com/) in the event of an outage, but since some members will not be able to check our website due to lack of power, we also will post notices in town if an outage occurs. Note that we only supply water for domestic use (i.e. drinking water) and for the fire dept. to fight structure fires. Members should also be aware that there may be NO WATER coming through our system during a wildland fire event.

Acquire or position emergency generators where needed to maintain water supply and pressure.  Ensure you have adequate fuel for power generators to last at least 4 to 6 days.
MWC has been making good progress on the installation of our generator. It is not yet operational and isn’t expected to be fully operational until January 1, 2020. We will notify our members when it is operational.

Issue notices to customers to conserve water to reduce unnecessary demand and maintain storage supply.
MWC has kept our water restrictions in place, and you’ve been great stewards. Now it’s up to all of us, as members, to keep it up, while at the same time making sure that we each have our own supplies. Again, in the event of a wildland fire event, or a public service power outage, we remind you that available water is only for domestic use INSIDE YOUR HOME. MWC water is available for structure firefighting purposes.

If the power outage occurs and the water system loses water pressure, your water system should take the following actions:

  • Activate your Water Quality Emergency Notification Plan
    The MWC Board will activate the MWC Emergency Disaster Response Plan when it’s necessary.
  • Notify your DDW District Office or County Local Primacy Agency for instructions on issuance of a precautionary Boil Water Notice
    This action is on MWC’s Emergency Disaster Response Plan checklist.
  • Have a Boil Water Notice ready for distribution. 
    Go to the “Important Documents” page of our website to download a sample copy of our notice.
  • Make sufficient copies of the Boil Water Notice now, so that they may be delivered immediately if water pressure is lost.
    If we need to issue a boil water notice MWC will have paper copies ready to post at several locations in our service area. We will also have additional copies of the notice at the library, but we suggest you print a copy of our sample boil water notice now and keep it handy just in case. It may not be possible for the website to be updated in case of a boil water emergency.

Publicly available PSPS (Public Safety Power Shutdown) proposed outage maps can be found at the following links:

Liberty Utilities: https://california.libertyutilities.com/markleeville/residential/emergencies/electrical/outages-map.html

Pacific Gas & Electric:    https://www.pge.com/en_US/safety/emergency-preparedness/natural-disaster/wildfires/psps-service-impact-map.page  

Southern California Edison: https://www.sce.com/safety/wildfire/psps

San Diego General Electric: https://www.sdge.com/wildfire-safety/public-safety-power-shutoffs

DDW District Office contact information can be found at: https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/drinking_water/programs/documents/ddwem/DDWdistrictofficesmap.pdf.

Author: markleevillewatercompany

We are a small water company that provides water to the Markleeville community.

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