August 20, 2004

John Mitchell
Communications Coordinator
Eugene Water & Electric Board
P.O. Box 10148
Eugene, OR 97440-2148
(541) 341-8539 (office)
(541) 954-7528 (cell)
E-Mail John Mitchell



Is your drinking water really safe? The only way to know for sure is to go to the source. Organic Style Magazine did just that, conducting a survey of water utilities throughout the U.S. to compile one of the most extensive analyses of drinking water quality ever.

What did they find? Of the 712 utilities the magazine solicited, Eugene Water & Electric Board's water quality ranked number one.

For starters, Organic Style requested a report from every water utility that serves more than 3,000 people in 25 selected cities. The cities were chosen to represent a reasonable cross-section of population sizes and geographic locations. Of the utilities the magazine solicited, 82 percent returned reports.

To find out how many chemicals were in the water of the various water systems, Organic Style obtained water quality reports from 586 utilities serving 25 cities, or nearly 44 million people - about 15 percent of the U.S. population. The magazine found no link between the size of the utility and its water quality. Some large systems appear to be quite free of contaminants, while others are among the worst. Organic Style found no geographic pattern for contaminants.

Cities were assigned points based on the contaminants in the water and the level of those contaminants: the fewer the points, the safer the water. EWEB's water weighed in with 64 points, good for first place in the survey. Other regional utilities surveyed included Seattle (seventh place at 101 points) and Boise (24th place at 167 points).

"Ever since 1911, when the Eugene Water Board was founded in response to a typhoid epidemic traced to the existing drinking water system, we have dedicated ourselves to providing safe, high quality water for this community," says EWEB Water Division Director Tom Buckhouse. "This value has never wavered. The result is due to the hard work and dedication of all EWEB employees in an effort to providing high quality products to our customers."

For more information on the Organic Style water quality survey, check out or contact Marty Douglass or Tom Buckhouse at EWEB at 484-2411.