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
EWEB programs reflect community values
EWEB is here to serve our customer-owners and provides programs that reflect the values of our community.Find Out More
EWEB Prepares for the Annual Observance of "Imagine a Day Without Water"
Water infrastructure is essential, invaluable, and in need of continuous investment. Read how EWEB's Staff and Board of Commissioners are working to safeguard Eugene's water future.Find Out More
Rate Setting Process is Customer Driven and Community Focused
EWEB’s Board of Commissioners is considering rate changes to help maintain reliable utility services and fund critical investments in Eugene’s water and electric infrastructure.Find Out More
National Preparedness Month: Older adults take control in 1, 2, 3
We know older adults can face greater risks when it comes to the extreme weather events and emergencies we face, especially if they are living alone, are low-income, have a disability, depend on electricity for medical needs, or live in rural areas.Find Out More
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Every week is Infrastructure Week
May 17, 2023 • Jen Connors, EWEB Communications
National Infrastructure Week (May 14-20) may be a politically charged quip on the national stage, but for EWEB, the urgency and importance of infrastructure is no joke.
Infrastructure is critical to quality of life, public safety, economic vitality, and so much more. But the electric grid and drinking water systems we all rely on are threatened by age, natural disasters, and climate change.
Recurrent heat waves and prolonged droughts are creating conditions for more frequent wildfires and impact our rivers that provide drinking water and power generation. Extreme weather events can lead to higher demand for electricity, stressing our energy systems, as demonstrated by the February 2021 ice storm in Texas and September 2022 heat wave in California that nearly caused rolling blackouts.
As the consequences of climate change continue to unfurl season after season, other risks loom.
In the last decade, new science on the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake has emerged indicating that electricity, water, and other public services could be disrupted for weeks or even months following a severe earthquake. The Oregon Resilience Plan, a report issued by the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission, paints a chilling picture of what Oregon might look like after such an earthquake, describing Cascadia as “Oregon’s Greatest Natural Threat.”
Much of the infrastructure our community relies on for vital services was built in an era of needs and technologies that are very different from today. As an example, Eugene’s base level water tanks, which store 55 million gallons of drinking water, were constructed before modern seismic standards were created. And most of our community’s electric and water infrastructure — the pipes, poles, substations, power plants, and other facilities that serve all Eugene homes and businesses — were built in the 1960s and 70s during a time of rapid population growth for Eugene. As a result, EWEB is dealing with a bubble of aging infrastructure — projects and equipment that are reaching their end of life all at once and now require massive investment.
A new era of infrastructure investment
EWEB is already taking steps to mitigate these risks and ensure our customers have clean, safe, reliable water and power, even as critical infrastructure ages and new challenges arise.
Thanks to a robust capital budget, funded in part by customer rates, we are in a new era of infrastructure investment — rebuilding and modernizing the equipment and facilities that deliver your power and water.
Here are a few of the major projects planned or underway:
- Rebuilding substations to increase capacity and improve reliability, starting with the Currin Substation near Garden Way and I-105.
- Upgrading and supplementing water storage tanks, including building new earthquake-proof tanks near E. 40th Ave, and soon replacing College Hill Reservoir with seismically resilient storage.
- Building a water treatment plant on the Willamette River to diversify and improve the resiliency of our water supply.
- Upgrading the Carmen-Smith Hydroelectric Project to continue generating low-cost, clean, local power.
Investing today for a resilient tomorrow
How we plan, design, and execute these infrastructure projects today will shape Eugene’s future. EWEB is prioritizing resiliency — using modern strategies to protect systems from earthquakes and other natural disasters, and to allow those systems to adapt to uncertain future conditions.
An example of resilient infrastructure planning is EWEB’s approach to building new water storage. Over the next decade, we are replacing Eugene’s three massive tanks that were built between the 1930s and 1960s with six smaller tanks. This distributed approach makes it easier for us to take one tank offline for repairs, providing operational flexibility while making our system more resilient to disruption.
These water storage tanks, substations and other critical power and water facilities are being constructed to modern seismic standards, to withstand a Cascadia earthquake. No infrastructure is entirely protected from disasters, but by prioritizing resiliency we can reduce the likelihood, magnitude, and duration of disruptive events. The new Willamette River water treatment plant, for example, will be designed to come back online within 24 hours of an earthquake.
These investments are vital to meet the growing demands of our community and to fortify our electric grid and drinking water systems against the challenges posed by climate change and other risks.
Your rates keep the lights on and the water flowing
As Eugene’s publicly owned utility for 112 years, EWEB has a long history of investing in our community. Our infrastructure includes everything from power plants to distribution and transmission lines, from substations to transformers, from pipes and reservoirs to pump stations. It’s a complex system that requires investment and maintenance to provide constant, reliable power and water.
Today we are stewards of our community’s $1.3 billion worth of assets that deliver clean, safe, and reliable power and drinking water. As an EWEB customer, you own and help fund that infrastructure. When you pay your EWEB bill, you’re not just paying for the electricity and water you used, you are investing in the health, safety, livability, and economic future of your community.
We're making investments to prepare, replace and maintain our community's water system.
EWEB's 10-year Capital Improvement Plan for major infrastructure investments to rehabilitate, replace, and install new infrastructure will ensure we meet the current and future needs of our community, while maintaining reliable service.