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
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
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EWEB drinking water meets federal and state health standards again
April 28, 2023 • Jen Connors, EWEB Communications
Good news for Eugene residents: your drinking water once again met safety standards for every type of contaminant regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Oregon Health Authority.
EWEB produces more than 23 million gallons of drinking water every day. We have never failed to meet the standards.
Toxic chemicals from agricultural, urban development, waste disposal and forestry practices can get into groundwater, lakes, and rivers, contaminating water for humans, animals and aquatic plants.
EWEB tests above and beyond for all regulated contaminants, including per– and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS chemicals, which are known as “forever chemicals.” PFAS chemicals are used for waterproofing and found in items such as stain-resistant carpets, clothing and non-stick cookware. They can increase risk of cancers and birth defects as well as other health problems.
The EPA recently proposed new regulations for water utilities to test for PFAS chemicals. Though the regulations have yet to take effect, EWEB is already in compliance. The utility has been testing for PFAS since 2013 and has not found any of the forever chemicals in the water drawn from EWEB’s intake on the McKenzie River, nor in the treated water EWEB delivers to customers.
“EWEB follows the multiple barrier approach to safe drinking water,” said EWEB Chief Operations Officer Karen Kelley. “That begins with protecting water at the source — the McKenzie River — and progresses through filtration, disinfection, distribution, storage, and sampling of the water throughout the entire process before we deliver it to homes and businesses across Eugene.”
For decades EWEB has worked with partners in the McKenzie River watershed to protect Eugene’s sole source of drinking water from contamination and degradation. But climate change and aging infrastructure are increasing the dangers to drinking water.
“Hotter, dryer summers raise the risk of wildfire, harmful algal blooms and drought, all of which have the potential to impact our source water and require new and ongoing investment in water protection, monitoring and treatment,” Kelley said. “At the same time, much of Eugene’s water infrastructure is reaching the end of its useful life and needs to be upgraded or replaced.”
Ensuring safe drinking water requires robust investments in the watershed where that water originates, the treatment infrastructure that purifies it and the storage and delivery systems that ensure it comes out the tap. Community members today benefit from investments made in this system by customers decades ago. Now, EWEB is investing in projects that will benefit future generations by making the community’s water supply more resilient.
In addition to programs aimed at protecting water at the source, EWEB is renovating the Hayden Bridge Water Filtration Plant, replacing water mains, developing emergency water distribution sites, and building new water storage tanks.
With the risk of a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake looming in the Pacific Northwest, EWEB is prioritizing investing in infrastructure so it meets modern standards for earthquake safety. In 2021 EWEB started construction on new earthquake-proof water tanks near E. 40th and Patterson Street in south Eugene. When that project is completed later this year, EWEB will move on to replacing the 80-year-old College Hill Reservoir with new seismically resilient storage.
In the near future, EWEB plans to make another major investment in water reliability by building a new water treatment plant on the Willamette River, giving Eugene a crucial second source of water.
“Of the 20 largest cities in the Northwest, Eugene is the only one with a single source of drinking water,” Kelley said. “Accessing the Willamette River as a second source is an important next step to ensure we can provide drinking water to our customers in case an emergency impacts the Hayden Bridge Filtration Plant or the McKenzie River.”
Details on the quality of EWEB’s drinking water can be found in the 2022 Consumer Confidence Report.