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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
For EWEB, preparing for harsh winter storms is a year-round responsibility. While we can’t control the weather, we can make our electric infrastructure more resilient to withstand storms that bring snow, ice and wind to Eugene.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
Hundreds of landowners in the McKenzie River valley are working with EWEB to prevent future fires and protect the river by replanting burned properties and removing fuels like dead trees and underbrush.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
EWEB held its Poster Contest for 5th grade students in our service territory for Public Power Week, October 2-8, receiving more than 100 entries from classrooms across the area.Find Out More
When access to pad mount transformers, cable, and smart meter chips tightened, EWEB only had one choice – double down on its core values, provide safe and reliable electricity. Below are the stories from EWEB staff about how they have navigated the ups and downs of this new frontier.Find Out More
EWEB's elected Board of Commissioners has voted to authorize General Manager Frank Lawson to pursue and negotiate the sale of the former EWEB headquarters building.Find Out More
EWEB’s Source Water Champions work year-round to protect our drinking water. They take water quality samples throughout the watershed, help our neighbors be better stewards, and coordinate multi-agency teams for restoration work and hazard mitigation.Find Out More
Local middle school students from around the area learned about the entire life cycle of salmon along the McKenzie River at Salmon Watch 2022, which was held at the EWEB spawning channel. The field trip took place during peak salmon spawning season, when fish that are at least two feet long are reaching the end of their journey from the ocean to their natal streams.Find Out More
EWEB is bringing back our annual poster contest for Public Power Week, and needs your help to select our top 5 winners!Find Out More
EWEB’s electric safety trailer is an interactive tool for the public to learn how to react in a potentially dangerous situation.Find Out More
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
While most wildfires are started by lightning strikes or caused by human actions, utilities have a role to play in risk reduction -- and we are doing our part. And while we can't stop wildfires, we can make our electric infrastructure more resilient to better withstand fires by using new construction methods and materials and keeping our system maintenance up to date by replacing aging equipment.
EWEB employs a full menu of options for "grid hardening" strategies, including a robust vegetation management program, replacing older equipment on a regular basis, full system inspections, and in some cases, placing power lines underground.
One of the measures underway this summer and fall is the inspection and replacement of power pole crossarms. Our line technician crews have been working for the past several months to identify and replace older or deteriorating crossarms in the McKenzie River Valley service territory and on select circuits in south Eugene.
Replacing crossarms is a labor- and time-intensive process, where the crews are often working within a few feet of energized powerlines. However, this is one of the measures that could prevent EWEB facilities from becoming an ignition point for a wildfire.
During high wind events, such as the gusting, erratic winds seen during Red Flag Warnings, the failure of a crossarm could bring down energized power lines and potentially spark a fire. To help reduce that risk, crews are now finishing up the replacement of more than 100 crossarms in the McKenzie River and south Eugene areas.
"Our approach is to use multiple investment and replacement strategies to maintain reliability and increase resiliencies for all types of weather conditions the electric system must face," said Electric Operations Manager Tyler Nice.
"Most often mentioned as an improvement to mitigate fire risk is undergrounding lines, however, that option typically cannot be acted on right away, may not be feasible, or be cost prohibitive," Nice said. "Preforming inspections and turning around maintenance work quickly for high-risk areas and ailing equipment is not only a quicker option, but is financially responsible, and will provide reliable service for years to come."
Another risk reduction strategy is to replace wooden power poles with metal poles in areas that are at higher risk for wildfire.
This past spring, EWEB finished a project that used ductile iron poles to replace wooden poles in a section of its upper McKenzie River transmission line. The ductile iron poles are much more resistant to fire than wood. The project at Deer Creek is the first time EWEB has installed ductile iron power poles.
"Not only will the ductile iron poles prove more resilient in surviving a wildfire, but we actually improved habitat by placing the new poles away from Deer Creek, which is the largest tributary to the McKenzie River," Nice said.
Along with grid-hardening activities, we also conduct routine system maintenance to keep electric infrastructure functioning safely and properly throughout the year. The reliability work includes proactively pruning trees and removing brush to help keep our equipment clear of contact, and for access if an outage repair should be needed. In addition to the regular vegetation management, tree-trimming crews spend extra time pruning in areas at higher risk of wildfire.
Crews regularly inspect electric lines, poles, components and other equipment, replacing worn or older parts as needed. This work not only helps keep the system operating during snow, ice and windstorms, but reduces the likelihood of some types of equipment failure that may causing sparking that could ignite a wildfire.
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.