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
Bethel neighbors boost emergency preparedness during Emergency Water Station event
Staff gave out about 300 emergency water containers to enthusiastic community members eager to learn more about the water station.Find Out More
How does EWEB recover the costs of serving customers
Here’s an overview of the three primary ways EWEB recovers the costs of serving customers and generates the funds needed to keep the power on and the water flowing.Find Out More
Stay cool during extreme heat events
With temperatures forecasted to reach over 100 degrees over the next several days, we've prepared some tips and tricks to help you stay cool.Find Out More
Women in STEM: Meet our servant leader and maker of tough decisions
Karen Kelley, Chief Operations Officer at EWEB, describes herself as a "servant leader," offering support and mentoring to four division managers at EWEB.Find Out More
EWEB establishes multipronged resiliency policy
Disaster recovery and prevention are being embedded in all operations and processes.Find Out More
Women in STEM: Meet the water quality specialist who ensures the safety of Eugene's drinking water
Brenda Casarez began working at EWEB in 2009, collecting samples from all over the water system testing for different contaminants.Find Out More
Wildfire season is here – tips and safety precautions
Temperatures are heating up with weather forecasts anticipating temperatures up to 99 degrees in Eugene and the surrounding areas on the 4th of July.Find Out More
EWEB will close College Hill Reservoir site for Fourth of July
EWEB will continue the annual closure of its College Hill Reservoir over the Fourth of July holiday. For the past several years, EWEB has restricted access to the reservoir surface around the Fourth of July to ensure people do not set off fireworks which can damage the roof and potentially impact drinking water quality.Find Out More
EWEB, Partners Receive $7.5M Grant from NOAA
EWEB, McKenzie Watershed Council, McKenzie River Trust and the U.S. Forest Service are working to improve major tributary for water quality, wildfire resiliency and fish habitat.Find Out More
EWEB begins major water pipeline upgrades
This summer, EWEB is launching several construction water pipeline projects to enhance the reliability and earthquake resiliency of drinking water service for Eugene residents.Find Out More
EWEB Safety Tip: Celebrate responsibly with balloons
If your graduation celebration involves balloons, make sure they are secured with a weight. Otherwise, they can float away and come into contact with overhead power lines.Find Out More
EWEB Education Programs Invest in Eugene’s Future
Learn some of the many ways EWEB customers support local schools and help inspire kids to explore the wonders of watershed health and clean energy resources.Find Out More
Every Week is Infrastructure Week
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.Find Out More
State of the McKenzie Watershed
Millions of dollars of investment have prevented the major harm from the Holiday Farm Fire, EWEB’s annual State of the Watershed Report finds.Find Out More
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EWEB Moving Forward with Emergency Water Supply Program
August 09, 2017
EWEB management received clear direction at the Aug. 1 Board of Commissioners' meeting: when it comes to disaster planning and recovery, the utility's first priority should be emergency water distribution.
A reliable supply of clean water is vital to public health, safety, and our economy, especially in an emergency. An emergency water supply program would focus on developing our capabilities to deliver water at a number of permanent distribution sites designated as Community Points of Distribution (CPOD). These CPODs were identified by the county as the locations where emergency resources including food, medical aid and shelter would be available following a disaster.
The water would come from existing or new wells—a handful of schools, including Sheldon and North Eugene already have existing wells and others have pending water rights for wells. Each distribution site would be configured as a joint water and electric facility with the following infrastructure:
- An existing, new, or refurbished well
- A water treatment system
- A standby generator system
- A microgrid system to provide reliable standby power
- A building to house piping and equipment
This solution would supplement other emergency supply efforts already underway, including:
- Portable treatment trailer - We have purchased the components and plan to start construction on a treatment trailer later in 2017.
- Water distribution trailers - We currently have three trailers than can be hooked up to a functioning, pressurized potable water supply and deliver water from 100 nozzles.
- Delivered water - We currently have one 500-gallon and two 2,000-gallon blivets (a collapsible rubber bladder used to transport liquids) ready for deployment.
Commissioners directed staff to work with school districts, public agencies, other utilities and perhaps private industry to identify ground wells and other potential water sources, and indicated a sense of urgency to develop an emergency water supply program as soon as possible.
"Thousands of lives depend on our ability to deliver drinking water in short-order following a disaster," said Commissioner John Brown.
EWEB has been working on developing alternative water sources for a number of years. After receiving a water permit on the Willamette River, we have been moving ahead with plans to construct a second filtration plant in case a natural or human-caused disaster compromises our primary water source on the McKenzie River or our Hayden Bridge filtration plant operation. While commissioners indicated continued interest in a second filtration plant on the Willamette at some point in the future, they instructed staff to postpone planning and funding for that work at this time. The Board directed staff to move forward with planning a 2018 budget that assumes the utility will rescind a three percent water rate increase that commissioners approved in 2014 specifically to fund planning and construction of a second treatment plant.
"There are roles the Willamette plant will play with respect to disaster recovery and other scenarios, but we have heard feedback from the board that we need to focus on life safety and show progress and results at a faster pace," said General Manager Frank Lawson. "Through partnerships with schools and other utilities, we can implement an alternative water source and a water reliability plan in a way that gives us the most flexibility and the quickest results."
Work on an emergency water supply is a piece of our overall Water Reliability Initiative. Infrastructure projects include replacing water mains, upgrading interties, upgrading or building new reservoirs, adding backup electrical power to pump stations, and renovating our Hayden Bridge water filtration plant.