Utilities Safety Information

“Ensuring community safety is a top priority for the City of Palo Alto. It's everyone’s responsibility and we're grateful our customers and employees work together to keep us all safe." - Ed Shikada, General Manager of Utilities & Assistant City Manager

Want to know more about utility safety? Let us send you free safety information. Send us an email at UtilitiesCommunications@cityofpaloalto.org or call (650) 329-2479.

Download or print our Utilities Safety and Emergency Preparedness brochure. 

Email us at UtilitiesCommunications@cityofpaloalto.org to request a free "How to Reach Us" magnet with Utilities and other important contact information.

Natural Gas




Smell Gas? Leave the premises, then call  911! 

Prepare yourself and learn safe practices with our Gas Safety brochure. Available in Spanish and Mandarin.

Click here for details on the 2016 gas safety awareness surveys, beginning March 8.

Call 811 before you dig! Avoid buried utilities by calling the Underground Service Alert two working days prior to any excavation in your yard or home. 

"Whole house" Gas safety test info

What to do on your customer-owned service line

Furnace tune-up

Carbon monoxide safety

Annual Gas leak detection

PG&E runs regional pipelines through our town--read about their gas transmission pipeline replacements and other projects. 

Electric Outage?
Call (650) 496-6914

Right tree right place Ensure your trees safely co-exist with both overhead powerlines and underground utilities. A tree in the wrong place can damage utility service lines.

See a downed power line? Call the Utilities Control Center (UCC) at (650) 496-6914 so that Utilities crews can address it. If the line is putting people in danger, call 911 immediately.

Electrical safety tips during storms

Earthquake preparedness

Repair of unsealed meters

Surge suppressors protect electronics from damage

Water Leak Emergency?
Call (650) 329-2579

Planned disruptions: Ongoing maintenance of the system sometimes requires water service to be shut off to a specific area for brief periods. You will get notices about these planned disruptions.

Review our 2015 Annual Water Quality Report

Sewer back up? 
Call (650) 496-6995

Avoid Fog* Clog (*Fats, Oil & Grease)-Avoid the hassle, expense and public health hazard of a sewer back-up. Do not put trash (fats, grease, sanitary wipes, rags etc.) down toilets and sinks. Maintain your private sewer lines. 

Gas-Sewer Crossbore Inspection Program
Call us BEFORE clearing or repairing a blocked home or business sewer line, so we can verify conditions are safe.

Your role as part of the team that keeps your sewers clear

Avoiding sewer backups

Sewer and storm drain comparison

Preventing sewer backups helps protect the bay


    • July 2013: CPAU wins National Safety Award for Ongoing Gas Safety Program. We are always working on pipeline maintenance and repair, 24/7 customer service and educational outreach for all customers. Call the City’s dispatch center at (650) 329-2579 if you have questions or suggestions.

    • What are those colored markings on the street? When anyone calls "811"---including us!---locators come out and mark where underground utilities are so they won't be hit during excavations.

    • Click here to be redirected to our landing page for all gas, water, and electric projects.

    • Keep your meters accessible! Please don't turn them off yourself, unless you smell gas during an emergency (like an earthquake). It is never safe to turn your meters back on - Meters should only be handled by trained utility staff. If you have a concern, call the City Utilities at (650) 329-2579, 24 hours a day.

    • Stay up-to-date on utilities disruptions by bookmarking our outage page and/or following us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Last Updated: Oct 3, 2017