The Eugene City Council approved the purchase of EWEB's former riverfront headquarters property at a meeting on Jan. 30. The terms of the deal state that the City of Eugene will purchase the 4.4-acre property, which includes two buildings and parking lots, for $12 million.Find Out More
An EWEB-supported program provides firewood for people affected by the 2020 Holiday Farm Fire. The McKenzie Firewood program was developed by Pure Water Partners (PWP) in 2021.Find Out More
At EWEB, we do what we can to help others in need. That’s been the reality for several of our electric and water crews over the past few weeks as we’ve responded to mutual aid requests for storm response and drinking water restoration, locally, and out of state.Find Out More
After evaluating several proposals and opportunities, EWEB is focusing its negotiations to sell the former riverfront headquarters property to the City of Eugene. The exact terms and details of the deal will be negotiated during the next few weeks.Find Out More
Despite an ice storm and a few windstorms in Eugene and the McKenzie Valley in the past few weeks, EWEB has so far fended off widespread weather-caused power outages – largely because of investments in year-round system maintenance and infrastructure improvements.Find Out More
EWEB has 800 miles of transmission and distribution lines transporting your drinking water underground throughout the city. It eventually comes out of your tap as delicious thirst-quenching water. But what goes into maintaining all those pipes? And what happens when one gets a leak? We went to find out.Find Out More
EWEB makes electric mobility available to anyhone though e-bike rebates, car sharing and grants for local organizations with electric mobility projects.Find Out More
The EWEB Board of Commissioners started off their first meeting of 2023 by choosing a new board president and vice president.Find Out More
In response to a call for aid this week, EWEB’s water division jumped into action to assist the town of Mapleton after a leak in their water system left about 260 homes without running water.Find Out More
At Alton Baker Park this week, Eugene 4J elementary students bid farewell to baby salmon they’d raised from eggs in their classrooms this fall. The activity was part of the Salmon Education Program funded by EWEB grants.Find Out More
Commissioners supportive of General Manager's recommendation to remove Leaburg DamFind Out More
On a chilly November day, third graders from Adams Elementary School in Eugene learned about the lifecycle of native salmon on a field trip to Lake Creek near Triangle Lake. The field trips take place all month as part of a program funded by EWEB grants. EWEB dedicates a portion of customer rates to inspiring kids to explore the wonders of science and learn about watershed health, water quality, and emergency preparedness.Find Out More
At the Nov. 1st board meeting, EWEB Commissioners got an update on the budget and rates for next year and the EWEB quarterly report.Find Out More
Imagine if heavy snowfall and freezing rain hit Eugene this winter. Imagine damaged trees, road closures and widespread power outages. What would you do?Find Out More
By partnering with ShakeAlert and the Oregon Hazards Lab, EWEB gets an early warning of the effects of earthquakes on hydropower facilities.Find Out More
June 18, 2018
The premier water utility trade association in the United States has recognized EWEB's impressive safety record and proactive approach to implementing best practices for employee safety and health programs as one of the best in the nation.
The American Water Works Association presented the Wendell R. LaDue Safety Award to Chief Water Engineering & Operations Officer Mel Damewood and EWEB Commissioner John Simpson at its annual convention in mid-June. The scientific and educational trade group includes more than 3,900 utilities that supply roughly 80 percent of the nation's drinking water.
"I really want to stress that this is an award earned by all the employees at EWEB," Damewood said. "Staff has made safety our primary cultural attribute, and I'm proud to be a part of the safety culture here at EWEB."
Evaluation of award nominees includes a review of a utility's safety record over the past five years, safety and health program best practices, the scope of systemic safety training initiatives at all levels, and the breadth of safety culture throughout the organization, said EWEB Safety Manager Mark Maguire.
"They evaluate your entire safety program, not just two or three years' of performance," Maguire said. "They really do a deep dive into the foundational components of your program, including accountability, commitment to best practices and management's support of safety as a strategic priority."
In addition to holding monthly safety meetings throughout the organization to discuss accidents, near-misses, "good catches," unsafe conditions, what's working and what needs improvement, field personnel conduct "tailboards" prior to beginning work activities each morning to keep safety front and center.
Along with in-house safety staff, we utilize outside vendors to provide relevant training to employees that ranges from fall protection and trench safety to CPR/First Aid and confined space instruction.
The nature of the work at EWEB, whether installing new water pipes in deep trenches, working in close proximity to high-voltage power lines or operating hydroelectric projects that include dams and power canals, places field personnel in hazardous conditions on a daily basis, Maguire said.
When accidents or near-misses do occur, we explore and investigate those incidents to improve our practices and processes with the intention to eliminate or at least mitigate hazardous conditions.
EWEB's commitment to safety reaches all levels of the organization -- from upper management to crew personnel. It's understood that shortcuts or unsafe work practices not only affect the person performing that act, but all those working around them as well. The fundamentals of performing work safely and the value of that action are built into our culture.
"The practice of working safely is not performed based on regulatory requirements, but on the premise that employees go home each and every day after work in the same condition that they arrived, and that nobody is injured," Maguire said. "And senior management understands the moral and financial value of providing a safe workplace."
Maguire, who has worked in the industrial safety field for more than 20 years, said he doesn't have to "sell" safety at EWEB because safe work practices at all levels are ingrained in the culture. EWEB won the same safety award from the AWWA in 2015.
"To have the performance we had and have is pretty remarkable given the high-hazard nature of the work we do," Maguire said. "To earn this award two out of the past four years speaks well of our program and our culture."