Using fireworks near power lines could lead to a fire, explosion, power outage or downed line.Find Out More
EWEB will continue the annual closure of our College Hill Reservoir over the Fourth of July holiday and prohibit fireworks on the property grounds.Find Out More
It's called an FUV, a fun utility vehicle. And we are so having FUN! We are proud to have a small fleet of electric vehicles. Two to be exact.Find Out More
On June 18, with the help of community neighbors, EWEB inaugurated a new emergency water station at the Lane County Fairgrounds.Find Out More
EWEB exceeded drinking water safety standards in 2021 for every type of contaminant regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Oregon Health Authority. The utility has never failed to meet the standards.Find Out More
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
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
Here’s an hour of one-time tasks and a few more behavior change goals that will help you reduce your water use, save energy, lower your carbon footprint and save money on your EWEB bill!Find Out More
Eugene’s drinking water received an outstanding performance rating from the Oregon Health Authority.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
Two Eugene Water & Electric Board line crews will spend the New Year holiday weekend through next week restoring power to thousands of Pacific Gas & Electric customers in northeast California after winter storms dumped more than 10 feet of snow in the Lake Tahoe area starting before Christmas.Find Out More
Several hundred customers have been restored, but the smaller outages with five or fewer customers may not be restored until Tuesday or Wednesday.Find Out More
With the National Weather Service predicting snow for the Eugene area Sunday through Tuesday, we want to remind customers that the expected snow could bring trees and branches down onto overhead power lines and cause electric outages.Find 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 Leads "Spill Drill" to test HazMat ResponseFind Out More
On Monday, September 7, EWEB shut down four substations and delayed restoration to a feeder line in order to mitigate the risk of wildland fires, impacting more than 3,000 customers in the south hills and areas east of Thurston.
Conditions allowed crews to restore power to south Eugene residents by the following day. However, active fire, smoke and other hazardous conditions for several days thwarted attempts to assess and safely re-energize power lines serving customers from Thurston to Walterville.
Power lines can cause wildfires under a variety of "Red Flag" conditions when a combination of warm temperatures, very low humidity, and strong winds produce an increased risk of a rapidly spreading fire.
Our power distribution system contains fuses and circuit breakers that detect fault conditions and protect the system if something goes wrong, much like the breaker panel in your home or business but on a larger scale. Even as the protection systems do their job, arcs and sparks can happen before the electricity is removed and an arcing downed line can quickly ignite grass and other vegetation, particularly in very dry conditions, and the fire can spread rapidly in high winds or gusts.
Falling Tree Branches
Tree branches can cause fires in multiple ways. A tree falling across a line can tear the line down. If a limb falls on the line, it can ignite and may even produce an electrical arc. The arc itself can spark a fire, and if the branch remains in contact with the line, it can eventually break the line.
Equipment Failure and Operation
Equipment such as switches, insulators, and transformers can deteriorate as they age, causing arcing and sparking when they fail or are stressed. Also, the normal operation of some protective fuses can cause sparks to fall into the ground. In severely dry and windy conditions, the sparks can ignite nearby vegetation.
Here in the northwest, we are all too aware that wildfires often result in loss of life and property.
To help prevent tree-related outages and mitigate wildfire risk, we proactively prune trees to help keep our equipment clear. Crews trim around 300 line miles of vegetation annually to minimize falling trees and branches for ongoing reliability maintenance, with an additional 250 line miles inspected and pruned specifically for fire protection in high-risk areas.
When there is a high risk for a wildfire, we may temporarily shut off power to certain neighborhoods to prevent our electric system from becoming the source of an ignition. As each weather situation is unique, we work closely with other agencies such as Lane County Emergency Management, U.S. Forest Service, and Oregon Department of Forestry, and carefully review a combination of factors when deciding if power must be turned off, including:
We realize this proactive approach of preemptively shutting off power can present challenges, especially for those who live in rural areas and rely on electric pumps for wells. If your power has been shut off, we will restore power as soon as the conditions permit, and crews have inspected the system to confirm it is safe to re-energize power lines.
Just as we manage vegetation to keep trees away from power lines, it's important for you to create a line of defense around your property by clearing dead trees and brush away from your property, particularly if you live in the south hills and other heavily forested areas of our community.
When selecting a new tree to plant, follow the "Right Tree, Right Place" approach. By picking the proper species and planting procedure, you can increase public safety, reduce power outages, reduce the need for routine pruning, and promote healthy, beautiful trees.
You should also have a plan for how you and your family will stay safe from wildfire. Find more information at https://www.ready.gov/wildfires.
4200 Roosevelt Blvd.
Eugene, OR 97402
Phone hours: 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.