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
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Staff gave out about 300 emergency water containers to enthusiastic community members eager to learn more about the water station.Find Out More
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Stay cool during extreme heat events
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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
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Spill Drill Tests McKenzie River Emergency Response
October 31, 2017
More than 30 emergency responders from multiple local agencies conducted a live "spill drill" in late October on the McKenzie River above Leaburg Dam.
Participants practiced containing a fictitious fuel spill using the McKenzie Watershed Emergency Response System (MWERS). They set up fast-water containment booms, deployed oil recovery equipment and performed other tasks to minimize the spread of the oil in order to protect the McKenzie River, which supplies drinking water to the nearly 200,000 residents of Eugene.
The joint drill was primarily organized by the EWEB, McKenzie Fire & Rescue and the Eugene Springfield Fire Hazmat Team to familiarize first responders with MWERS. Other agencies included the Springfield Utility Board, the city of Springfield, the Lane County Sheriff's Office, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Corps of Engineers.
"Interagency drills like this are extremely valuable because it allows us to refresh and hone our skills in deploying spill response equipment that we rarely have the opportunity to use and then test these pre-planned response strategies," said Karl Morgenstern, EWEB's Source Protection Supervisor.
Refreshing those skills required to quickly and efficiently deploy the booms is something all the agencies agree is important to do on a regular basis. While some are familiar with the process, boom deployment is complicated even during good weather, so having time to practice together as a team improves the likelihood of success during an real spill event.
"The real value is working together so we know each other and we know the resources and skills each agency can bring to a response before we all show up at an actual incident," Morgenstern said.
Responders were reminded of the precarious position of the McKenzie River in relation to Highway 126 last June, when a tanker truck carrying about 11,000 gallons of gasoline crashed on the highway about one mile east of Leaburg. The crash occurred just 1,500 feet from the river. Fortunately, none of the roughly 1,700 gallons of fuel spilled entered any of the river's tributaries.
The MWERS emergency response system was created in 2002 by EWEB and McKenzie Fire & Rescue Fire to assist first responders in the event of a hazardous materials spill or other emergency that threatens the water quality of the McKenzie River, Eugene's sole source of drinking water. The system uses detailed mapping and computer technology to give emergency crews information and instructions for containing spills in specific segments of the river. In addition, three fully-equipped interagency response trailers are staged throughout the McKenzie Watershed for rapid response to a spill.