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
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
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
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 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
EWEB drinking water meets federal and state health standards again
EWEB employs multiple methods of safeguarding drinking water, from the source to the tap.Find Out More
EWEB to replace aging College Hill Reservoir with new earthquake-proof storage tanks
Old reservoir leaks, threatening water quality, and will fail when a major earthquake strikes.Find Out More
Water use in summer more than twice as high as winter
EWEB customers use more than twice as much water in the hot, dry summer months, compared to the cold, rainy winter months. The higher summer water use can almost assuredly be attributed to customers watering their lawns and gardens.Find Out More
New water treatment trailer improves EWEB’s emergency response abilities
The Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB) is expanding its capacity to provide water to customers in case of an emergency.Find Out More
Tests show EWEB water is free of “forever chemicals”
EWEB is already in compliance with a new proposed federal rule that would require municipalities to test for PFAs, or forever chemicals, in drinking water. The good news for EWEB customers is that in over ten years of testing we have not found PFAs in our water.Find Out More
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New interactive map advises recreationalists of HABs dangers
July 20, 2022
The McKenzie River is one of Oregon’s best recreation destinations and here in Eugene we are lucky to have it right in our backyard. Whether you paddle, swim, or fish, you can find clear, crisp waters with stunning scenery throughout the McKenzie Valley.
There are a few sites, however, that pose higher risks for developing Harmful Algal Blooms. HABs are outbreaks of toxic cyanobacteria that thrive in warm water conditions, and they can be harmful to human health or to pets.
As the McKenzie River is currently the sole source of drinking water for around 200,000 people in Eugene, EWEB routinely tests water in 10 locations to be able to detect and treat for the effects of HABs to make sure our water is safe to drink.
It’s been a part of our water quality regime since the Oregon Health Authority began requiring cyanotoxin monitoring in 2018. In the four years EWEB specialists have sampled for cyanotoxins, we have never detected toxins at concentrations of concern at the Hayden Bridge Water Treatment Plant intake site.
Nevertheless, in the warm summer months, people should be aware of HABs and learn how to identify suspicious algae to stay safe. Parents and guardians of young children and dog owners should pay particular attention when swimming in or near the Blue River Reservoir or downstream of Cougar Reservoir. At these sites, the reservoirs’ impounded water can heat up and accumulate nutrients, creating ideal habitats for HABs to develop.
The Oregon Health Authority recommends, "Don't go into water that looks foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green, blue-green, or brownish red. A good rule of thumb for you and your pet is: When in Doubt, Stay Out!"
EWEB is making it easier for you to recreate safely, with a new interactive HABs map that displays our latest testing results. By providing early warning of when cyanobacterial HABs are producing cyanotoxins, we can help prevent potential recreational exposure to these cyanotoxins in our reservoirs and river.
“We collect hundreds of samples every summer, and we keep a watchful eye on the McKenzie,” said Water Quality Specialist Brenda Casarez. “We’re excited to share our testing results on our new interactive HABs map so we can help EWEB customers and visitors stay safe when exploring our beautiful McKenzie River.”
Next time you’re heading up to Blue River or Cougar Reservoir, check out our website to get a heads up on HABs activity. Be sure to check the date of the test, as we monitor every two weeks, and use your best judgement if the water doesn’t look healthy.