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PG&E plan cuts off surface water to Manteca, Tracy as well as Lathrop
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South San Joaquin Irrigation District’s ability to deliver treated surface water to Manteca, Lathrop, and Tracy will end about six hours into a prolonged and deliberate PG&E power shutoff but farm irrigation deliveries will be able to continue.

The SSJID board when they meet Tuesday will receive an update on how a district task force is preparing for the eventuality of PG&E cutting off electricity for two to five days in the advent of extreme wildfire conditions. The board meets at 9 a.m. at the district office, 11011 East Highway 120, Manteca.

The treatment plant that typically supplies all of Manteca’s water in the winter and a lion’s share of it in the summer needs PG&E power to operate. At any given time there is the rough equivalent of three to  six hours’ worth of treated water in the system to serve the three cities. The treatment plant on Dodds Road west of Woodward Reservoir does not have backup generators to power the treatment process.

Manteca and Lathrop will have to rely 100 percent on well water while Tracy has well water plus water from the Delta-Mendota Canal.

That said not all wells in the three cities have backup generators. It is why officials during a prolonged PG&E outage are asking residents to refrain from non-essential water use such as washing cars or irrigating landscaping. Use of water for showering and such is also asked to be scaled back.

What wells can continue to operate will be needed not just to supply the entire city with water but make sure there is us an adequate reserve to allow firefighters to battle blazes.

Pressurized service in the SSJID Division 9 south of Manteca and west of Ripon will be unaffected by a deliberate PG&E blackout. That’s because Modesto Irrigation District is the electricity provider.

PG&E powers the rest of the SSJID where it is needed.

The district expects to continue delivering water during an outage although the level of service may be impacted.

In preparation to PG&E pulling the plug, SSJID is asking irrigation customers to consider the following:

Customers wishing to receive water deliveries during a PSPS power outage must be prepared to receive the delivery.  It is the responsibility of the customer to ensure privately owned pumps (and other electronically operated equipment) are energized and operable at the time of delivery and through the entire duration of service.

Irrigation deliveries will be scheduled in the same rotational order as ordinarily conducted by the Division Manager.

Customers are advised to place water orders with their Division Manager as they normally would.  Taking water out of turn or without approval is considered theft of water and may result in loss of future service and/or other legal consequences.

With Division Manager approval, drip and sprinkler customers may choose to switch to flood irrigation so long as the appropriate infrastructure is already in place.  It is the responsibility of the customer to ensure flood gate are in proper working condition and that the property is adequately prepared to receive flood irrigation.

General inquiries may be made to your Division Manager or  to the District Office at (209) 249-4600.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email