Safety is #1 for Utilities

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

  • 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 see a chart explaining what the colors mean.
  • Safety tips for youth (Order a free Safety Detective Kit!)Smart, Safe and Green Fun Spot
  • Safety during power outages and stormsTips on being prepared 
  • 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)

Natural Gas




SMELL GAS? Leave the premises, then call  (650) 329-2579 or 911.
PG&E runs regional pipelines through our town--read about their gas transmission pipeline replacements  and other projects.

Click here for details on Palo Alto Utilities gas, water, and electric projects.

Crossbore Inspection Program

Gas Leak Detection
(annual surveys)

Gas Safety brochure. Available in Spanish and Mandarin

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.

"Whole house"
Gas safety test info 

What to do on your customer-owned service line

Furnace tune-up

Carbon monoxide safety tips

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.

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

Electrical safety tips during storms

Earthquake preparedness

Repair of unsealed meters

Surge suppressors protect electronics from damage

Call (650) 329-2579

Review our
Annual Water Quality Report

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.

SEWER BACK-UP? CALL US FIRST! Call Utilities at (650) 496-6995 BEFORE clearing or repairing a blocked home or business sewer line, so we can verify conditions are safe.

Gas-Sewer Crossbore Inspection Program underway now

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.

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

Last Updated: Oct 27, 2014