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How EWEB is providing power and water for Oregon22 07/18/2022

It’s finally here! The World Track & Field Championships are underway at Hayward Field in Eugene.

Tens of thousands of people from around the world are expected to visit our community during the event, which runs from July 15-24.

How has EWEB prepared to deliver power and water to all these athletes and spectators from around the world?

It takes a lot of planning. EWEB’s Water Operations Manager Mike Masters said he and other EWEB folks have been involved in meetings with the University of Oregon and other groups since late 2021.

“What I’ve learned in this process is just that takes a lot of planning and coordination and lots of passionate and skilled stakeholders from all around the community, including EWEB, to pull something like this off successfully,” Masters said.

In anticipation of increased demand for water, Masters said we’ve raised the levels in EWEB’s reservoirs.

“We have increased our storage a little,” he said. “Our Hayden Bridge Water Treatment Plant is more than capable to meet the needs of our community and any increase in demand from the visitors.”

Electric Dispatch Supervisor Larry Longworth said he’s confident EWEB’s system can readily handle the increased demand for electricity that comes with such a large10-day event.

“We have plenty of transmission load capacity to service the UO substation,” said Longworth, “We do not foresee any issues from the increased electricity usage during Oregon22.”

He added that EWEB has installed two temporary power services in areas where services did not previously exist and EWEB crews are on hand if something is needed. But the UO is responsible for their own substation, which will provide for the event itself.

EWEB power supplied to the main campus, including Hayward Field, is supplied with built in redundancy to maximize reliability.  In the event that an outage does affect the UO main campus, the UO maintains their own generation capacity serving as backup power.

Although Eugene has hosted the Olympic Track & Field Trials multiple times, the Worlds is much bigger, more on the scale of the Olympic Games themselves. But Longworth isn’t daunted.

“I think EWEB has everything in place to handle this event,” Longworth said. “It’s larger scale than most, but not foreign to us – we know how to respond.”

EWEB has deployed our water distribution trailer for the Eugene Riverfront Festival that is taking place during the World Championships. Fans can get their reusable water bottles filled up at the trailer staffed by EWEBers, Masters said.

He’s proud to be able to showcase our water to the world.

“We’re really fortunate to have such a great source of water in the McKenzie River,” Mike said. “And it’s something we are proud of as the water division and EWEB as a whole. So, it’s exciting to share that with the world.”