Nine days without power: My ice storm story as an EWEB customer and employee
While beautiful and peaceful, buying a home on the edge of the forest and surrounded by trees has its tradeoffs. Moving “upriver,” I knew there would be more threats to prepare for, including Mother Nature’s seasonal surprises.Find Out More
Preparation and Resilience: How EWEB Maintained Water Service During Recent Ice Storm
Learn about the projects and people that helped EWEB keep water flowing throughout the extreme weather event.Find Out More
EWEB crews focusing on restoring electric service for Hayden Bridge Water Filtration Plant
With more ice forecasted for Tuesday, all EWEB crews are in the field assessing outages and restoring power.Find Out More
Start the New Year saving money with energy saving tips
We know that saving money is important to our customers. Using energy and water wisely is a great way to reduce your monthly utility bill, even as the costs of electricity and water rise. EWEB has several steps you can take to reduce your usage and even make your home feel more comfortable.Find Out More
EWEB Recognized with Excellence in Communications Awards from American Public Power Association
We are proud to have been recognized with two Excellence in Public Power Communications Awards for 2023 from the American Public Power Association (APPA).Find Out More
Let's talk turkey. If a disaster strikes, is your family ready?
Many of us avoid discussing politics over the dinner table in the spirit of family peace and harmony. But here's a topic that can bring everyone together: emergency preparedness.Find Out More
EWEB To Hold First of Two Public Hearings on Proposed 2024 Budget and Prices
At the Nov. 7 Board of Commissioners meeting, EWEB staff will present a proposed budget that includes rate increases necessary to support utility operations and make needed infrastructure investments.Find Out More
EWEB now offering a Smart Thermostat rebate program
EWEB is excited to announce a new residential rebate program to provide electric customers with free or greatly discounted Smart Thermostats to customers whose primary source of heating is from an electric forced-air furnace or heat pump.Find Out More
Your EWEB Rates at Work: Investing Today for a Resilient Tomorrow
For more than a century, EWEB has planned, built, and maintained the systems that deliver safe, reliable, and environmentally responsible power and water to Eugene homes and businesses.Find Out More
Have an energy efficient and water conscious holiday season
The holiday season is officially upon us. Whether you are celebrating a special holiday or just sharing a meal with close friends and family, hosting can cause some unexpected energy and water usage increases – resulting in a higher utility bill. We’ve prepared some tips on how you can save energy and water this holiday season.Find Out More
EWEB’s water infrastructure projects designed for reliability during major disasters
As communities nationwide Imagine a Day Without Water, EWEB strives to ensure such a day never happens.Find Out More
Fall is the perfect time to prepare for winter storm season
Winter is coming, which increases the likelihood of storm-related power outages. It's important to be prepared, and there are simple actions you can take right now.Find Out More
EWEB lead annual "Spill Drill"
EWEB coordinates drill as part of protecting Eugene’s drinking waterFind Out More
As prices increase, what can you do to take control of monthly utility bills?
EWEB’s Board of Commissioners is considering rate changes in 2024. Here are some ways to save money and manage your bill, and how EWEB can help.Find Out More
Salmon Return to Finn Rock Reach
Finn Rock Reach and other restoration projects throughout the Middle McKenzie provide conditions to help young fish survive to adulthood.Find Out More
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Crews Restart System Reliability Work
June 05, 2020
As our community attempts a slow and steady recovery from the health and economic crises of COVID-19, you will see more electric and water crews in the field performing essential reliability work.
Since mid-March, EWEB has delayed reliability and maintenance projects to minimize the number of customer outages that are often needed to perform the work. We recognize that even brief power and water outages are no longer simple inconveniences, but major disruptions as most of our community are sheltering-in-place, teleworking, and distance learning.
Crews have continued their 24x7 response to emergency outages, as well as legally required compliance work, and customer-requested activities such as move-in/move-out connections. EWEB staff and contracted crews have also kept up on tree-trimming efforts, which includes wildfire-related trimming upriver and in south Eugene as well as customer requested trimming.
But instead of a full complement of crews at work across the community, only a handful of electric and water crews have been in the field at any given time. This strategy has been important to limit potential transmission of the virus and ensure crews are safe, healthy, and ready to respond should a major event like a wind storm arrive and disrupt services across the community.
"Like everyone, when this crisis was first evolving, we didn't know what to expect," said Electric Operations Manager Tyler Nice. "But we do know our number one goal is to safely keep the continuity of service as much as we can."
Watch a short clip of Tyler describing EWEB's approach during the initial weeks and months of the pandemic.
Now, as the state continues to loosen stay-at-home orders, crews will resume critical reliability work such as replacing damaged utility poles, upgrading meters, rebuilding power lines, and replacing aging water mains.
At this time, electric crews are limiting their projects to those that will disrupt fewer than 500 customers and take no longer than six hours to complete. Water projects are also limited to outages of six hours or less.
Here are some examples of critical maintenance projects that are resuming in the coming days and weeks:
South hills underground service conversions: Projects in the areas of Blanton Road and Fox Hollow, west of Saratoga to Donald, will convert 3-phase overhead lines to underground. This is part of the electric system reliability projects for which EWEB received FEMA funding following the 2016 ice storm.
Willow Creek substation upgrade: Replacing an ailing transformer that serves multiple neighborhoods and several thousand customers in west Eugene.
Chambers St. water main replacement: This project is part of EWEB's strategy to replace and renew the water system to increase water reliability and system resiliency. The work is being done ahead of the City of Eugene paving project for this portion of Chambers. There will be scheduled water outages, traffic impacts, and construction noise during the project that is anticipated to last eight weeks.
Willamette St. and Laurel Hill pump station upgrades: Replacing and upgrading equipment to keep these pump stations, which deliver drinking water to thousands of customers in south Eugene, reliable and operationally flexible.
As an essential service provider, we know that now, more than ever, electricity and water are foundational to all other areas of the economy, healthcare, and public safety. These are just a few examples of vital work needed to maintain safe, reliable electricity and water services to Eugene homes and businesses.
In this clip, Tyler Nice describes the importance of managing a backlog of maintenance work.
With many customers still working from home or taking online classes, we understand the need for advance notice of planned maintenance work. Customers will be notified ahead of time if crews need to shut off your power or water. These notices will provide information such as the reason for the outage and the expected duration.
EWEB crews continue to follow social distancing guidelines while in the field. The public can help promote a safe work environment by not approaching utility crews in the field or entering their work zones. For everyone's health and safety, please be sure to maintain appropriate physical distancing of six feet if you happen to encounter EWEB crews in the field.