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
EWEB is moving forward with analyzing four options to remediate the Leaburg Canal, ranging from full decommissioning to complete restoration, with two options in between.Find Out More
As a public utility, owned by the people of Eugene, it’s important for us to be open and transparent with our customer-owners. The following State of the Utility Address, delivered by General Manager Frank Lawson at the March 1 EWEB Board meeting, highlights key events, accomplishments and challenges of 2021.Find Out More
Community organizations, property developers and others will soon be able to submit offers to purchase and develop a 4.44-acre site in a prime location along Eugene’s burgeoning downtown waterfront district.Find Out More
Starting late night Sunday night, an intense windstorm blew over trees and caused just over 2,600 Eugene Water & Electric Board customers to lose power. But EWEB line crews working through the dark hours of the night and early morning promptly restored service for nearly all those customers.Find Out More
New programs provide customers opportunities to invest in local environment, watershed protection, and future climate scientistsFind Out More
Here in Eugene, where we are fortunate to have one of the cleanest power portfolios in the nation, electrification presents opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support climate recovery goals.Find Out More
EWEB is offering new programs to help Eugene electrify its transporation sector - tackling our largest source of carbon emissionsFind 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.Find Out More
EWEB, City of Eugene project reduces City Facilities carbon footprint by 16%Find Out More
While world leaders debate climate action, EWEB reflects on our community's climate successesFind Out More
Recent material shortages have EWEB increasingly concerned about our ability to meet timelines for electric and water construction projects.Find Out More
EWEB Leads "Spill Drill" to test HazMat ResponseFind Out More
Unlike for-profit utilities who serve their investors, EWEB and other public power providers are community-owned and do not operate to earn a profit or benefit stockholders. Our prices are based on the costs to serve our community with safe, reliable water and electricity.Find Out More
As part of our routine monitoring efforts, EWEB conducted a bathymetric survey of Trail Bridge Reservoir in May 2021. The reservoir is one of three that make up our Carmen-Smith Hydroelectric Project located about 70 miles east of Eugene off of Highway 126 near the headwaters of the McKenzie River.
The results of the survey, which is essentially a map of the topographic features of the reservoir bottom, indicated three "depressions" that required further investigation. One of the depressions was apparent during re-examination of a similar survey performed in 2010.
EWEB conducted follow-up inspections with a remotely operated underwater vehicle along with dye testing by divers in early June 2021. Based on the dye tests, the two larger depressions are actively taking water and are considered sinkholes. Subsequent dye testing and geophysical investigations in July and August indicated that there is no concentrated seepage flow through or under Trail Bridge Dam.
Public safety is EWEB's top priority, and staff are working diligently to manage the safety risk to the public downstream of the dam while actively investigating sinkhole conditions and cause. EWEB's Dam Safety team, along with Generation Operations and Engineering, have been working closely with experienced consultants and the Division of Dam Inspection and Safety of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to address the issue and develop a risk mitigation plan.
We have implemented several risk-reduction measures to date, including lowering the Trail Bridge Reservoir level approximately 7 feet below the normal operational elevation, increasing monitoring and surveillance at the dam and downstream, and ensuring effective notification and communication with Emergency Action Plan (EAP) partners.
The decision to lower the reservoir level was made out of an abundance of caution.
EWEB has multiple monitoring devices in place to detect anomalies or any unexpected changes. These include stream flow gauges, reservoir level sensors, groundwater level sensors, turbidity monitoring sensors, remote video cameras with night vision capability and seepage weirs at the toe of Trail Bridge Dam.
"Based on our understanding and the data we have gathered so far, the risk of a catastrophic dam failure is low," said Daniel Huang, EWEB's Chief Dam Safety Engineer. "We will continue our investigation and evaluation, and that could take a year or longer."
Carmen-Smith duty operators conduct daily inspections of the dam, and can further lower the reservoir if any anomalies are detected visually or by the monitoring equipment.
There are plans in place to notify the public, public safety agencies and the U.S. Forest Service should the situation change. There is also a siren at Olallie Campground, downstream of the dam, that EWEB staff can activate should the status of the dam change. The campground was closed in August for the remainder of 2021 due to its close proximity to the Knoll Fire.
The steps EWEB has taken with the increased monitoring and lowering the reservoir level by 7 feet reduce the likelihood of a dam failure. Staff, including engineers, are confident they can quickly intervene if anomalies are detected, which further lowers the likelihood of dam failure.
We will continue to monitor and assess the sinkholes to determine the cause and potential remedies.
Anyone with questions or concerns can contact Joe Harwood at email@example.com.
4200 Roosevelt Blvd.
Eugene, OR 97402
Phone hours: 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.