Calaveras County may be impacted by a Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) this weekend due to dangerous fire conditions.

If PG&E decides to cut power to county residents, the shutoff start time is estimated at 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, and the restoration time is estimated at 6 p.m. on Monday.

“PG&E continues to monitor a potentially strong and dry offshore wind event forecasted to start early Sunday morning and expected to last through Monday,” a PG&E press release issued Friday reads. “Given the expected weather conditions, PG&E began its one-day advance notifications to customers in areas where PG&E may need to proactively turn power off for safety to reduce the risk of wildfire from energized power lines.”

Currently, PG&E estimates that about 10,000 customers could be impacted in Calaveras County, including about 400 medical baseline customers.

On Friday, the county’s water and sewer utilities issued a joint statement “urging customers to conserve water and only use it for critical health and safety needs during PG&E’s planned PSPS.”

“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 these generators during power outages, as well as reducing the negative impacts of possible generator failures, such as loss of water treatment capacity or sewage spills,” the joint statement reads. “Utilities 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.”

“County residents should also be aware that small electric septic tank pumps will not function during power outages (unless a home backup generator is hooked up) and 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. It is very important to conserve water that will enter the septic tank, including water used in sinks, toilets, showers, washers, etc. Sewage grinder pump tanks have essentially no storage at all and could overflow even with very little water usage. Residents in that situation would have to stop the flow of water immediately.”

For information on preparing for power shutoffs, visit prepareforpowerdown.com.

To view the potential outage map, click here.

To see if your address could be affected, click here.

More information will be provided when it becomes available.

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Reporter

Noah Berner has lived in Calaveras County most of his life, and graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz with a degree in history.

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