Laura Farthing has been working for EWEB for the past 14 years. She’s the lead engineer on EWEB’s water storage construction project near E. 40th and Patterson St.Find Out More
EWEB used the tactic of a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) for the first time to mitigate the risk of wildfires.Find Out More
EWEB held a grand opening event for our Emergency Water Station near the Sheldon Fire Station on Saturday, September 10. The site would supply drinking water for the neighborhood in the event of a catastrophic earthquake or other disaster that cut off water to customers.Find Out More
This unique opportunity to reduce the infrastructure footprint and maintenance costs will also improve wildfire mitigation because less infrastructure means less chance of ignition or damage from a fire.Find Out More
We are working to ensure our systems are ready to perform through extreme heat. Check out tips and resources to help you stay safe and comfortable while conserving energy.Find Out More
At this rodeo, power poles take the place of bulls and electric workers stand in for cowboys.Find Out More
How has EWEB prepared to deliver power and water to all these athletes and spectators from around the world?Find Out More
In 2022, residential rates increased for the first time in five years. Looking ahead, a variety of long-term critical projects coupled with short-term supply chain and inflationary pressures and a dynamic power supply market are likely to impact the prices customers pay for water and power.Find Out More
EWEB’s Board of Commissioners approved the utility’s first Wildfire Mitigation Plan during the July 5 Board meeting.Find Out More
Using fireworks near power lines could lead to a fire, explosion, power outage or downed line.Find Out More
EWEB will continue the annual closure of our College Hill Reservoir over the Fourth of July holiday and prohibit fireworks on the property grounds.Find Out More
As part of EWEB's relicensing requirements for the Carmen-Smith Hydroelectric Project, we are reducing the risk of birds colliding with electricity.Find Out More
On June 18, with the help of community neighbors, EWEB inaugurated a new emergency water station at the Lane County Fairgrounds.Find Out More
As a public utility, it is important EWEB check in with customers to see how we are performing. We invite you to share your feedback and opinions.Find Out More
On April 12, EWEB dispatched a two-person crew with a bucket truck to assist with repairs and restoring electric service for Columbia River Public Utility District, which serves customers in Columbia County, north of Portland.Find Out More
Just as high winds with gusts of more than 30 mph arrived in the Oregon Cascades early Thursday, EWEB has completed aerial trimming around its Carmen-Smith transmission line using a helicopter with saw attachments to trim branches and treetops.
The trimming protects power lines from trees and branches during wind and snow storms, increases reliability and mitigates the potential for wildfires during the summer months.
The Carmen-Smith transmission line is a vital connection to EWEB's electric distribution system and the Bonneville Power Administration's transmission system. The line allows generation from the Carmen project to get onto EWEB's system and serve customers in Eugene and the McKenzie River Valley, or onto BPA's transmission network to be marketed to electric utilities across the West.
Carmen-Smith, about 70 miles east of Eugene on the upper McKenzie River, is EWEB's largest utility-owned generation source and can power more than 16,000 homes.
By using a helicopter, EWEB was able to limit ground disturbances in the 17-mile-long transmission corridor, which runs through the Willamette National Forest. Aerial trimming provides easier access to trees in remote, mountainous terrain that is difficult for tree crews and their equipment to traverse.
The aerial trimming is quicker, more efficient and less expensive than using ground crews.
EWEB estimates it would take three tree crews 2.5 years and cost eight times more to trim along its Carmen-Smith line using ground crews due to seasonal wildlife species protection limitations, fire season work restrictions and the inaccessibility of the terrain, said EWEB utility Forester Nate Alexander.
"And tying up three crews for that long would take them away from other important work in town the in the McKenzie Valley," Nate said. He added that not only was the company the low bidder, but it also had the best safety record, "so it worked out really well for us."
Wright Tree Service, EWEB's vegetation management contractor, trims about 300 "line" miles each year, in addition to another 250 "line" miles in areas at greater risk for wildfire.
Heli-Dunn, based in Medford, was the low-bidder on the contract and won the $125,000 job. The company uses two primary tools: A vertical shaft with eight, 30-inch-diameter saw blades attached to it to trim horizontal branches, and a tree-topper that uses two hydraulic grappling claws to hold the tree while a chainsaw blade does the cutting.
"The topper is great for handling fire-damaged trees," Alexander said. "It can cut up to at least 24-inch (diameter) treetops."
By using a helicopter, EWEB was able to complete the work in about seven days. Heli-Dunn worked mostly afternoons in late October to avoid morning fog, Alexander said. The company completed the job - trimming about 12.5 miles of the 17-mile transmission line - on Oct. 25.
EWEB is likely to employ the less expensive and faster aerial trimming in other areas of its service territory in the future. And with climate change bringing hotter, drier summers and longer and more intense wildfire seasons that limit when ground crews can prune, aerial trimming will become more popular.
4200 Roosevelt Blvd.
Eugene, OR 97402
Para asistencia en español llame al 541-685-7000, presione 9
Phone hours: 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.