Delivering Water During a Regional Power Outage

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Delivering Water During
a Regional Power Outage

The Water Authority takes emergency preparedness very seriously, and has successfully performed its vital mission of providing a safe, reliable water supply during several regional disasters, including the wildfires of 2003 and 2007.

However, on September 8, 2011, Water Authority staff had to respond to a new, unprecedented emergency – a massive power outage that hit nearly all of San Diego County, as well as neighboring parts of Southern California, Arizona, and northern Mexico.

Staff moved into action swiftly as key facilities went to backup power. Crews were sent to critical sites to look for damage, monitor water flows, refuel generators, and make manual changes to water flows when needed. Others coordinated operations with the Water Authority’s member agencies, or deployed to the County of San Diego’s Emergency Operations Center to ensure the media and the public received accurate information about the region’s water supply.

It took about 12 hours for power to be restored to most Water Authority facilities. During the outage, the water treatment and delivery system performed as designed with no interruption of water service. Water Authority staff conducted an extensive debrief after this unusual event to further refine and improve emergency preparedness and response efforts.

Sidebar: 

Being
Prepared

Learn more about the Water Authority’s emergency preparedness and security efforts by watching this two-minute video featuring Gary Eaton, director of Operations and Maintenance.

Emergency Preparedness