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Four Emergency Water Sites Now Operational

October 01, 2020

Hoses for filling water jugs at one of EWEB's emergency water stations

National Preparedness Month is recognized each September to promote household and community disaster planning. One very important way to prepare for emergencies is to keep enough clean water on hand in case our water system is damaged.

There are a number of potential hazards that could impact our water supply, treatment or distribution system, from chemical spills to earthquakes. And as the climate crisis creates hotter and dryer summers, the overall risk of wildfire is increasing, which can threaten our community's drinking water source as well as delivery infrastructure, such as the Hayden Bridge Water Filtration Plant.

Just as your household invests in an emergency water supply, EWEB is making investments to make sure safe, reliable water continues to flow, especially in the days and weeks following a natural disaster or other emergency. In addition to programs aimed at protecting water at the source, renovating the Hayden Bridge Water Filtration Plant, replacing water mains and improving storage tanks, we are also developing neighborhood emergency water stations.

We launched the emergency water supply program about two years ago with the goal of establishing several geographically dispersed water distribution sites throughout the community. Each site will be built to provide drinking water from a new or existing well, or a portable water treatment system, and include a source of standby power such as a generator in case the electric distribution system is compromised.

These small, distributed water sites will allow EWEB to continue to serve the community with drinking water should a large-scale disaster such as an earthquake affect the McKenzie River, disrupt the water treatment plant or damage the 800 miles of distribution pipes that deliver water to Eugene homes and businesses.

Working with community partners, we now have four, fully operational emergency water sites:

  • Prairie Mountain School - 5305 Royal Ave.
  • Howard Elementary School - 700 Howard Ave.
  • Eugene Science Center - 2300 Leo Harris Parkway
  • Lane Events Center/Fairgrounds - 796 W 13th Ave.

We are in the process of constructing two additional water distribution sites at Sheldon Fire Station and Amazon Park.

Map of Eugene with emergency water sites marked

EWEB has been working with Neighborhood Associations and Eugene's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) to train volunteers to set-up and operate the emergency water stations, so that our crews can focus on other emergency tasks such as repairing water mains.

If disaster strikes our community's water system, you may need to obtain water from one of these distribution sites. Take a moment to locate the emergency water station nearest to your home, and plan how you would get to the site and transport water in an emergency.

To collect water at one of these stations, you will need to bring your own storage containers. Learn how to clean and prepare water containers.