© 2024 KLCC

136 W 8th Ave
Eugene OR 97401

Contact Us

FCC Applications
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

EWEB installs its sixth community water station, with Eugene YMCA as partner

Two men stand on either side of a sign
Karen Richards
Brian Steffen, left and Nathan Endicott, right, with a map of the locations of the seven Eugene emergency water stations.

The Eugene Water and Electric Board is building the sixth of seven planned emergency water stations, this one near the Eugene YMCA.

The stations are designed to provide a walkable destination for two gallons of water per day for every Eugene resident, in case of a natural disaster.

EWEB engineer Nathan Endicott told KLCC there are very few utilities in the west that are this forward thinking. “EWEB’s kind of a leader in it," he said. "So every time I reach out they’re like, ‘Could you actually provide what you’re doing, because we like what you’re doing.’”

A man in a construction vest stands in front of a cleared patch of ground under construction.
Karen Richards
Nathan Endicott stands in front of the Amazon emergency water station construction site.

Endicott said a robust, 280-foot deep well has been installed, and work on two concrete structures is starting.

He said disaster readiness also includes personal responsibility. EWEB encourages residents to stock two weeks of food and emergency supplies, and to memorize the location of the nearest water station. If the emergency stations are activated, residents will be expected to bring their own water containers.

Construction of the final emergency water station at Churchill High School is expected to start this summer. EWEB has budgeted $2.6 million for the entire emergency water station program.

EWEB chose to construct this water station at Amazon Park because of a partnership with the nearby Y. Eugene Family YMCA CEO Brian Steffen said the Y can provide backup power.

“Hundreds of people could be sheltered at the Y," said Steffen. "We also have multiple locker room settings where people can have showers and we have three different kitchen spaces at the new Y where we can provide meals.”

Steffen said the Y could also serve as a reliable hub for emergency responders, because the facility has been built to the highest seismic standards.

A handful of parking spaces at the YMCA will be affected during construction.

The Amazon Park station is expected to be complete by early summer. A public demonstration will follow.

Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.
Related Content