College Hill Water Storage Project

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EWEB's College Hill reservoir is located between Lincoln and Lawrence Streets, just south of 23rd Avenue. As part of EWEB's Water Storage Improvement Projects, we plan to replace the existing 80-year-old, 15 million gallon (MG) reservoir with a new 7.5 MG tank, and a potential second 7.5 MG tank in the future.

Why is this project necessary?

EWEB's College Hill reservoir is part of the backbone of the water system that would be needed after an earthquake in order to meet critical community needs, including fire suppression, health, and emergency response, and drinking water distribution. However, the reservoir is nearing the end of its useful life, does not meet current seismic standards, and requires significant, expensive repairs to protect the safety and quality of the drinking water inside.

Additionally, there are operational and potential water quality concerns with the 80-year-old facility. Citing contamination concerns from leaking roof joints, the Oregon Health Authority is requiring EWEB to rehabilitate or decommission College Hill in 2023.

And from an operations standpoint, the College Hill reservoir does not drain and fill effectively, which impacts water quality.

Constructing a new water storage facility at College Hill and decommissioning the existing facility is the most cost-effective solution long-term, and will improve water quality and resiliency for all Eugene residents.

Surface of College Hill water storage facilitiy
Latest news and updates

Read previous updates and announcements.

July 9, 2021: College Hill Reservoir to be decommissioned by 2023
After serving Eugene for over 80 years, the 15 million-gallon (MG) College Hill Reservoir has reached the end of its useful life. The reservoir does not meet current seismic standards and requires significant, expensive repairs to protect the drinking water inside. To meet Oregon Health Authority requirements, EWEB plans to take this reservoir out of service by the end of 2023. 

To continue providing the safe, reliable drinking water our community depends on, EWEB will need to replace the College Hill Reservoir with new water storage infrastructure. 

Although we plan to take College Hill out of service by the end of 2023, pending completion of the replacement storage at East 40th, EWEB has not yet determined a demolition and construction schedule for the concrete tank.

We will keep neighbors informed as we continue to assess and refine the construction plan for College Hill.

Learn more and join our project email list to receive future updates.

Construction planning

We do not yet have an updated demolition and construction schedule. 

Community involvement

We are committed to ensuring all customers have access to information about the project, including timeline, benefits and costs. Those who are highly interested and directly affected, such as site neighbors, will receive up-to-date project details, and have opportunities to share feedback, concerns, and aspirations.

For any property retained by EWEB and not used for storage facilities, site neighbors and other residents will be invited to participate in decisions that involve:

  • Landscape design such as earth, rock, water and vegetation features
  • Public amenities (outside the fenced tanks) such as interpretive displays, walking paths

Opportunities to be involved and share feedback will be advertised on this website and other channels.

Related materials and information
July 2021 FAN Newsletter article
April 2021 FAN Newsletter article
College Hill Reservoir Intensive Level Survey
KEZI news story - March 2020
January 2020 neighbor meeting letter and FAQ
Project Overview - Jan. 2020
Water Storage Improvement Project News - Jan. 2020
Jan. 2020 Board memo
Summary of August 2019 Stakeholder Interviews

Public access and honoring College Hill's history

The College Hill Reservoirs were constructed in the 1930s with a Public Works Administration matching grant and are therefore considered significant historic features. EWEB has begun working with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and a consultant to ensure we follow recommendations for historically significant facilities. Part of this process includes a public meeting to gather input on mitigation strategies that appropriately honor College Hill historic features and its role in our community. Read the College Hill Reservoir Intensive Level Survey submitted by Historical Research Associates, Inc. 

The new facilities will be designed according to contemporary standards, which prevent public access to critical drinking water facilities. In order to meet current state regulations for security around public drinking water facilities, the new tank structure(s) will be fenced.  

Understanding that public access has been a valued community benefit, EWEB is evaluating options for maintaining areas of open space at the project site. We will invite ideas from neighbors about how to appropriately honor College Hill historic features and role in our community while ensuring responsible use of public funds. This could include re-landscaping portions of the site for public use and erecting interpretive signage to educate visitors and celebrate the site's history.

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