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
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
EWEB works with watershed researchers, forest management agencies and local non-profits to identify threats to our water supply and public health, prioritize watershed restoration activities and help with long-term community recovery.Find Out More
EWEB conducted a multi-agency spill drill on the Willamette River this week. The practice session was to help refresh and hone skills that will be essential to respond to an actual disaster involving an oil spill in the Willamette.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 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’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
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 very pure form of coal called anthracite coal is actually used as part of the water filtration process.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
A fuel tanker was carrying approximately 11,000 gallons of gasoline when it crashed along the McKenzie Highway one mile east of Leaburg on June 13, 2017. When emergency crews arrived on the scene, the tanker and trailer were found leaking and fuel was on the roadway.
The crash occurred just 1,500 feet from the McKenzie River, the sole source of drinking water for 200,000 people in Eugene and surrounding areas. The McKenzie also provides critical habitat for a number of endangered or threatened species including spring Chinook salmon, bull trout, spotted owl, Oregon chub, osprey and western pond turtle.
Fortunately, the spilled fuel did not enter into any tributaries of the McKenzie River, or the river itself. There was no surface water connecting the crash site to the waterways. However, the tanker released approximately 1,700 gallons of gasoline, contaminating soil and potentially impacting ground water. The initial response was carried out by McKenzie Fire & Rescue, Eugene-Springfield Fire Department's Hazardous Materials Team and Oregon Department of Transportation, until hazardous materials spill contractors and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality were able to take over the clean-up effort, which is expected to last for several days.
For more than 17 years, we have maintained an ambitious drinking water source protection program to protect the McKenzie and maintain the high water quality you enjoy. A critical component of the program is watershed emergency response.
While there are a number of potential hazards that could impact our water supply, chemical spills from transportation accidents is one of the highest threats to the McKenzie watershed. Hundreds of trucks travel the McKenzie Highway every day, many of them carrying hazardous materials such as gasoline, pesticides, and oil.
We want to be proactive in responding to a hazardous spill or other emergencies that could threaten McKenzie River water quality, so we have worked with dozens of federal, state and local agencies to implement the McKenzie Watershed Emergency Response System (MWERS). Incident commanders use MWERS to quickly gain access to crucial information, equipment and trained people, making their response more effective.
"A reoccurring theme associated with major spills or releases is that there is confusion and uncertainty for first responders in the initial 6 to 12 hours following an event, and it is during those early hours when the opportunity to contain the spill may still exist," says EWEB's environmental supervisor Karl Morgenstern. "The McKenzie Watershed Emergency Response System provides first responders with the tools they need to avoid confusion and effectively stabilize chemical spills as quickly as possible."
EWEB and dozens of partner agencies conduct annual MWERS training exercises to help prepare for chemical spills and other events that could impact the McKenzie watershed and our community's drinking water. As a result of conducting annual interagency emergency response drills on the river, EWEB was notified within minutes of the crash and worked closely with initial responders familiar with each other. Additional resources were offered if needed from the Army Corps of Engineers, City of Springfield, Springfield Utility Board and others who are part of MWERS.
In additional to chemical spills, a number of other emergencies could result in a water supply shortage: earthquake, drought, forest fire, severe flood, or a system or facility failure.
In case of an emergency our community is going to need access to clean water for drinking, public health and safety, so we're making strategic investments in key components of the water system. Our Water Reliability Initiative includes several infrastructure reliability projects over the next 10 years, including replacing water mains, upgrading interties, upgrading or building new reservoirs, adding back-up electrical power to pump stations, expanding the Hayden Bridge Filtration Plant and developing alternative water sources.
We also are working in partnership with neighboring water utilities, local public agencies, the Oregon Pacific Chapter of the American Red Cross and other emergency responders to assure a well-coordinated disaster response effort.
We are taking steps to prepare for an emergency in our community, whether human-caused or a natural disaster. You can do your part by building an emergency supply kit for your household.
If a natural or man-made disaster occurs, you can rest easier knowing you are better prepared with a household emergency kit. Putting together your own kit is simple and easy, and it begins with having on hand a minimum of one gallon of water per person per day for drinking and basic sanitation. While the American Red Cross recommends storing at least a three-day supply of water, larger disasters such as a possible Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake may require water for 14 days or more.
4200 Roosevelt Blvd.
Eugene, OR 97402
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Phone hours: 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.