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Eugene Drinking Water Remains High Quality, Analysis Finds


The drinking water that flows out of taps in Eugene remains among the best in the nation, according to a federally required report just released by the Eugene Water and Electric Board.

The annual water quality analysis was conducted in 2020. It covers drinking water sources and the levels of any potentially dangerous substances detected. 

EWEB’s Joe Harwood said the in-depth analysis was particularly important given the September Holiday Farm fire. The McKenzie River Watershed is the sole source of drinking water for about 200,000 people. 

Credit EWEB
Fence and wattle along the McKenzie River. All part of the watershed restoration and protection efforts since the Holiday Farm fire. 

“We’ve been able to enact enhanced monitoring and we’ve seen increases in metals, nutrients, solids, bacteria and organic carbon coming from the burned area above the river," he said. "However, these impacts seem to be very short lived.”

Harwood said the water quality issues experienced so far are well within the Hayden Bridge treatment plant's capacity to handle.

Credit EWEB


Harwood explained, numerous projects are planned to restore and protect the health of the watershed, post-fire.

To help fund this, EWEB Commissioners approved a temporary flat fee to customer water bills starting later this year. For most residential and business customers, the fee will be $3.00 per month for 60 months, at which time it will automatically sunset.

Credit McKenzie River Trust
View from above the McKenzie River corridor.

Other partners in the community-funded watershed recovery restoration initiative are Pure Water Partners, McKenzie River Trust, McKenzie Watershed Council, Upper Willamette Soil and Water Conservation District.

To review EWEB's water quality reports, click here

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.
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