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Keeping the Lights On and the Water Flowing

April 10, 2020

Crews repair a broken water main while observing social distancing rules

As the wide-ranging impacts of the coronavirus outbreak spread through our community, we are taking definitive actions to help and protect our customers and employees so we can continue providing reliable electricity and healthy water during this crisis.

It is not an overreaction to say this is an unprecedented situation from a personal, public health, professional and economic point of view. In times like these where the circumstances seem to change daily if not hourly, our ability to remain resilient and responsive will be challenged. The good news is our staff remains on the job with multiple strategies to maintain essential services.  

Editor's Note: The photo above was taken in late March. In accordance with the most recent CDC guidelines, EWEB field crews now wear masks.

In addition to bill assistance and other economic help for our customers, we have implemented immediate steps to keep your lights on and your water flowing. As a provider of essential services, our top priority is to protect public safety. To carry out this mission, we have to protect our workforce so we can continue providing electric and water service.  

Some of the steps we have taken in the past few weeks include:

  • Initially having as many employees as possible work from home, and then mandating employees work from home to limit potential virus transmission.

  • Modifying assignments for those not equipped or able to telework.

  • Staggering shifts to keep our crews apart and prevent the transmission of the virus.

  • Rotating "on-call" crews so EWEB is able to keep individual crews healthy.

  • Practicing social distancing and enhanced cleaning of all work areas, including vehicles.

  • Limiting reliability projects to avoid planned electric and water outages because so many of our customers are at home with children due to school closures, teleworking or have been laid off.  

EWEB crews continue to perform vital work such as repairing or replacing failing equipment to prevent unplanned service interruptions.

We are also making sure our staffing levels are more than adequate to perform new water and electric service connections as needed, including emergency requests for medical or public health needs.  

While we closed our Customer Service lobby to the public in mid-March as a precautionary measure, our employees continue to staff the call center and reply to emails 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Please call (541) 685-7000, or email with any questions.  

All of these measures are intended focus EWEB work activities on the most essential functions: Keeping the lights on and the water flowing.