Access to clean water is vital to our community. EWEB is hard at work making sure safe, reliable water continues to flow even as critical infrastructure ages and new challenges arise.
In the next decade, we plan to construct new water storage facilities near 40th Ave. and Patterson St. and replace the water storage systems at EWEB's College Hill and Hawkins Hill sites. The projects will be built to seismic and contemporary operating standards, providing more than 40 million gallons of resilient, safe water storage.
These are once-in-a-lifetime improvements that will provide safe drinking water to generations of Eugene residents.
While a safe, resilient water system benefits all customers, facility construction will have direct impacts on surrounding neighbors. As a public utility, we are committed to careful planning, responsible use of public funds, and meaningful customer engagement. This page will be updated throughout the course of the projects and will include information about how you can stay informed and involved.
1. Eugene residents rely on 55 million gallons of drinking water stored at three locations: Santa Clara, College Hill, and Hawkins Hill. These storage facilities are the backbone of our water system that serves 200,000 people—for everyday use, public health, fire suppression, and in drought and other emergencies.
2. Two of the backbone water storage facilities must be replaced. Engineering assessments have shown the College Hill and Hawkins Hill water tanks would not survive a major earthquake. State authorities have ordered timely replacement of College Hill.
3. To supplement EWEB's existing storage, new tanks are being installed on an undeveloped site near 40th Avenue. EWEB acquired the 10-acre site in the 1950s for this specific purpose. This 15 million gallons of storage makes it possible to first decommission, then replace, the vulnerable College Hill facilities. Later, to restore the current storage capacity, the tank at Hawkins Hill will be replaced.
4. When improvements are completed, six smaller water storage tanks will replace the existing large tanks. This distributed approach improves water quality, operational and maintenance flexibility and increases our resiliency to potentially disruptive events.
5. After construction, the sites will remain in public use. Although the new tank structures will be fenced to protect drinking water, unused portions of the sites will be open to public access.
6. Construction Mitigation Plans will be developed to minimize impacts on neighbors. The water storage sites are surrounded by residences that could be impacted during construction. EWEB and our contractors will work closely with neighbors to anticipate, mitigate and address potential impacts from noise, vibration, dust, erosion, construction traffic, and other aspects.
In addition to strengthening our base-level water storage, EWEB is planning for a new water treatment plant and river intake on the Willamette River, building new transmission mains, developing emergency water stations, and restoring and protecting the McKenzie watershed. These source-to-tap drinking water programs are helping keep our water systems prepared and adaptable to future changes.
Learn how new water storage facilities will better withstand natural disasters and protect public health.
The existing 80-year old, 15 million gallon (MG) tank will be replaced with a new 7.5 MG tank in the near term, with potential for a second 7.5 MG tank in the future.