Utilities staff looking at blackout impact on water facilities

City News Service

The city of San Diego’s Public Utilities Department is reassessing its reliance on San Diego Gas & Electric to provide backup power to municipal water facilities, according to a report to be delivered Wednesday to a City Council Committee.

The report by the department’s director and assistant director — Roger Bailey and Ann Sasaki — stems from the Sept. 8 blackout that led to spills at two sewer pumping stations. It will be delivered to the City Council’s Natural Resources and Culture Committee.

Department officials plan to research whether to install their own power generation systems at the site of water facilities. Many of them have redundant power supplies fed by separate SDG&E substations, but that didn’t help when the widespread outage affected all substations.

According to the report, about 2.6 million gallons of sewage spilled into the Sorrento Valley from one station and eventually flowed to Los Penasquitos Creek. Another 870,000 gallons spilled from the other station into the Sweetwater River.

The report does not say how long it will take department officials to evaluate their options.