Frequently asked questions about water quality
Beginning high in the Cascades, mountain springs and melting snow combine to create the McKenzie River.
At Hayden Bridge, EWEB pumps water from the McKenzie River to the filtration plant. After the water goes
through a full treatment process, the water goes through the distribution system and to your tap.
Chlorine is added to kill any bacteria, viruses and some protozoans that may be present. Federal law
requires a trace of chlorine in the water to ensure its purity as it travels from the filtration plant
to your tap. You can remove the chlorine by setting a pitcher of water in the refrigerator. Chlorine is a
dissolved gas and will dissipate into the air quickly.
EWEB customer-owners have had the opportunity to voice their opinion on water system fluoridation
many times during the last 60 years. The following timeline highlights significant dates
relating to the question of whether or not to fluoridate EWEB water.
- 1953: EWEB invites customers to participate in an informal
vote via post card ballots. Voters reject the use of fluoride in drinking water by a
- 1958: In November, the issue officially appears on a local
ballot and a growing majority of residents vote against fluoridation.
- 1964: The issue returns to the ballot and Eugene residents
for the first time vote to add fluoride to the water.
- 1965: In September, fluoridation opponents call for a
special election. Voters reverse course and approve a measure banning the use of fluoride
in drinking water.
- 1976: Eugene residents vote in favor of fluoridation in a November election.
- 1977: After a petition is filed to appeal the 1976 measure,
a special election is held in June. Similar to the experience 12 years earlier, Eugene
residents reverse their decision and again ban the use of fluoride in drinking water.
Fluoridation was revisited in the mid-90s but was never approved.
The hardness of water is determined by the mineral content. EWEB's water is considered very soft,
but contains small amounts of some minerals.
To ensure that the treatment process provides the highest quality water, more that 85,000 tests and
checks are done each year by EWEB technicians and independent laboratories. The results prove that EWEB's water
quality is much better than required compared to standards set by the Federal Environmental
Protection Agency and the Oregon Health Authority.
The water delivered to your tap is better than all federal and state drinking water requirements and does
not need additional treatment. Installing a home water device is a personal decision. Before purchasing
a device, review EWEB's annual testing results to determine which detectable compounds you want to eliminate.
Email our water quality experts
with questions or for more information, or call (541) 341-8500 ext. 2.