Utilities Safety Information

Safety is a top priority for the City of Palo Alto Utilities. We are safety strong!

Download or print our Utilities Safety and Emergency Preparedness brochure.

Read about wildfire safety and potential power shutoffs during wildfire conditions. 





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.

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. 

Gas-Sewer Crossbore Prevention - Call before you clear!

"Whole house" Gas safety test info
Furnace tune-up

Annual Gas leak detection

Information on Excess Flow Valves

Electric Outage?
Call (650) 496-6914

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.

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.

Electrical safety tips during storms

Earthquake preparedness

Repair of unsealed meters

Surge suppressors protect electronics from damage


Consider alternatives to mylar balloons

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.

Palo Alto's Annual Water Quality Report. Also a
vailable in Spanish and Mandarin.


Learn more about our water supply and water quality

We offer conservation programs for residents and businesses

Recycled water and water treatment in Palo Alto

Sewer back up? 
Call (650) 496-6995

Call us BEFORE clearing or repairing a blocked home or business sewer line, so we can verify conditions are safe.

Gas-Sewer Crossbore Inspection Program- Call us before you clear your sewer line so we can inspect for a potential crossbore.

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. 

Keeping sewers clean and safe is our job and yours

Avoiding sewer backups

Sewer and storm drain comparison

Protect the bay by preventing sewer backups


    • 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.

    • Visit our Utility Projects webpage for information on all gas, water, and electric projects.

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