Planning for Emergencies
Sammamish Plateau Water has an Emergency Response Plan to address emergency incidents, including service main breaks, seasonal weather events, power outages and earthquakes. We have examined many of the potential impacts to the water and sewer systems and what we can do to quickly respond to these issues. For instance, all of our water and sewer facilities have generators to keep the water and wastewater systems operating when electrical power is not available.
Every staff member receives Incident Command System training to facilitate a quick response to any emergency or disaster situation, and we train with other agencies to enhance our ability to coordinate with other regional agencies.
In a severe or prolonged emergency, it is possible that the water and sewer systems may be out of operation for several days or even weeks. In that situation, you may be without water or sewer service until we can make repairs. It's best to prepare by making sure you have plenty of emergency food and water stored at your home. Put together an emergency supply kit for your family. The "Make it Through" website, sponsored by the Puget Sound Offices of Emergency Management, provides a list of suggested supplies.
- Find your meter and practice turning off your water in advance of an emergency event.
- Find your master valve and learn how to shut it off during emergencies. This valve is usually in your basement or garage. Mark the master valve with a tag so you can find it during an emergency. Show other family members the master valve's location.
- Store tap water at your home. See the Washington Department of Health's Office of Drinking Water brochure for emergency drinking water treatment and storage options.
- Drain your hot water tank and use this water during emergencies.
Sewer Systems and Grinder Pumps
- Avoid putting baby wipes of any kind down your toilet, even if they say "flushable" or "biodegradable." They may block your sewer lines and cause a sewer backup into your home. Always use the trash can, not the toilet! Check the Don't Flush Trouble
list to see which items should go in the garbage.
- If your house uses a grinder pump for your sewer service, it will not operate in a power outage. Conserve water - don't flush your toilets or put water down the drains to avoid a sewage backup into your home during the time the grinder pump is out of operation. Always consult with a licensed electrician before installing a generator on your grinder pump system.