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EBMUD Deploys Generators, Pumps For Potential PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoffs

OAKLAND (CBS SF) – As wildfire season continues, the East Bay Municipal Utility District has deployed portable generators and pumps to keep water flowing in event of Public Safety Power Shutoffs by PG&E.

The utility, which provides water to more than 1.4 million customers in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, announced that equipment has been distributed to "critical facilities" throughout its service territory.

"As close partners to PG&E and local, state and federal fire departments, EBMUD is committed to doing all we can to lessen the threat of devastating wildfires, including providing ample water for fire-fighting efforts, helping customers firescape around their homes, and reducing fuel sources on our own land," EBMUD board president Doug Linney said in a statement.

According to Linney, this is the third year they have deployed emergency equipment for potential power shutoffs. Earlier this week, a PSPS event impacted some residents in Contra Costa County outside EBMUD's service area.

Generators and portable pumps have been placed at neighborhood pumping plants, which typically do not have backup power. In the event of a Red Flag warning, EBMUD said neighborhood tanks are filled ahead of time to ensure maximum capacity for customers and firefighters.

The utility said their wastewater facilities near the Bay Bridge in Oakland are also prepared to switch over to generators in the event of a PSPS.

EBMUD said customers affected by a PSPS are urged to reduce indoor water consumption during the shutoff and to avoid outdoor watering.

Customers are also urged to store backup water supplies in the event of an emergency. The utility recommends households keep a minimum of two gallons per person per day, for seven days, along with additional water for pets.

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