Water Storage Improvement Projects
Access to clean water is vital to our community.
EWEB is hard at work making sure safe, reliable water continues to flow even as critical infrastructure ages and new challenges arise. In the next decade, we plan to construct new water storage facilities near 40th Ave. and Patterson St. and replace the water storage systems at EWEB's College Hill and Hawkins Hill sites. The projects will be built to seismic and contemporary operating standards, providing more than 40 million gallons of resilient, safe water storage.
Oct. 7, 2021

Dear East 40th Neighbors,
The construction crew has run into an issue with a section of the excavated slope on the west side of the site. In this 30-foot section, the slope is crumbling sandstone and per Oregon Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines could create a potential safety hazard for workers.
We need to resolve this issue quickly for the safety of the work crews. To that end, we evaluated the following options:

  1. Shore up the slope – Using shotcrete (sprayed concrete) can stabilize the slope but is very expensive and would add significant time to the excavation process.
  2. Flatten or reduce the slope angle – this is a faster and least expensive process but requires us to expand the tank construction zone to the west, impacting about 10 trees on the margin of the work site.
  3. Move both tanks to the east – this option would shift the tanks approximately 10 feet to the east. This would require removal of the several remaining fir trees on the east side and would further impact homes on this side of the property.

After evaluating the three options, we have determined that reducing or flattening the slope angle is the best solution. On Friday, we will begin the work to to lay back an additional approximately 10 feet of slope.

As a reminder, we intentionally saved the trees on the edge of the excavation with the intent to evaluate the impacts as we moved through the project. We did not want to preemptively take down any more trees than was absolutely necessary. The risk of this approach was that those trees on the margin might not survive the construction process.

Fortunately, the area impacted by this issue is the final section to be excavated down to rock. Therefore, we do not anticipate any additional adjustments of this nature.

While changes like this are to be expected on any large, complex infrastructure project, we understand that even minor changes in construction plans can create some uneasiness. We want to assure you that as these situations arise, we will continue to communicate early and openly, provide clear facts, and explain the problem-solving process.

We know that having the construction completed as quickly and safely as possible is important for everyone involved, and our goal is to keep the project on schedule as much as possible. As always, feel free to reach out to us with any questions.
Contact us with questions
If you have questions or input, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the project team at
541-685-7899 or water.storage@eweb.org. Emails sent to this address will reach:

  • Laura Farthing, Project Manager/Senior Civil Engineer
  • Jen Connors, Communications Supervisor
  • Jeannine Parisi, Customer Relationship Manager
  • Wally McCullough, Water Engineering Supervisor