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." - Valerie Fong, Utilities Director

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

Natural Gas




SMELL GAS? Leave the premises, then call  911. 

CALL 811 BEFORE YOU DIG! Avoid buried utilities by calling USA (Underground Service Alert) two working days prior to any excavation in your yard or home. 

Gas Safety brochure. Available in Spanish and Mandarin.

"Whole house"
Gas safety test info

What to do on your customer-owned service line

Furnace tune-up

Carbon monoxide safety tips

Annual Gas Leak Detection

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

Call (650) 496-6914

               Ensure your trees safely co-exist with both overhead powerlines and underground utilities. A tree in the wrong place damages utility service lines. Get details on our
incentive program to remove and replace problem trees

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

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
Annual Water Quality Report

Call (650) 496-6995

(*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.

Who owns what, cleanouts and your role as part of the team that keeps your sewers clear

More on Avoiding Sewer Backups

Sewer vs. Storm Drain

  • 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 to all customers. Call the City’s dispatch center at (650) 329-2579 if you have problems.
  • 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 for details on Palo Alto Utilities gas, water, and electric projects.
  • Safety tips for youth (Order a free Safety Detective Kit!): Smart, Safe and Green Fun
  • Meters matter! Keep them accessible but please don't turn them off yourself! Except when you smell gas during an emergency (like an earthquake), never try to turn off your own gas, water or electric meters. AND NEVER TURN METERS BACK ON UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. If you have a concern, call the City Utilities at (650) 329-2579, 24 hours a day. Meters should only be handled by trained utility staff. (Utility meters and valves are City property and tampering with them is both dangerous and against the law.)
  • Stay up-to-date on utilities disruptions by bookmarking our outage page and/or following us on Twitter (@PAUtilities) or Facebook (Palo Alto Utilities)
  • Contact us for more resources or to visit with your school or community group. Send us an email at UtilitiesCommunications@cityofpaloalto.org or call (650) 329-2479.
Last Updated: Apr 1, 2015