Water Wisdoms | October 2022 Newsletter
Celebrating 50 Years of the Clean Water Act
This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act! The MWMC is in existence in large part due to this key piece of legislation, and we are excited to celebrate this major milestone for our country and community's water quality.

Prior to the 1950s, both Eugene and Springfield were disposing of wastewater directly into the Willamette River without treatment. In the 1950s, both communities constructed their own wastewater treatment plants, providing some level of treatment for wastewater, but it still wasn't enough.

In 1972, the Clean Water Act was passed by Congress, creating higher standards for wastewater treatment nationwide. Officials from Eugene, Springfield, and Lane County decided to join forces to meet these standards while also keeping rates affordable for community members. They created the MWMC in 1977, establishing a regional partnership for clean water. By 1984, our regional wastewater treatment plant in north Eugene had been constructed and was fully operational.

Since then, the MWMC has opened additional facilities, including our Biosolids Management Facility and Biocycle Farm; expanded the treatment equipment at our plant to increase capacity for our growing community; and made innovative strides in resource recovery through projects like our Renewable Natural Gas facilities. None of this would have been possible without the Clean Water Act paving the way, nor without community partnership.

The Eugene-Springfield community is built on water. Without it, none of us would be here. We are grateful for the hard work of many over the past 50 years to improve water quality for the Willamette and McKenzie rivers, maintain reliable wastewater infrastructure, and manage our water resources in a sustainable way for generations to come. We are looking forward to what the next 50 years will bring!
Community News & Events
Springfield Wastewater Master Plan
Calling all water-loving Springfield community members! The City of Springfield is embarking on a project to update its Wastewater Master Plan. Through this work, the City will identify needed improvements to the local wastewater system, based on current conditions and anticipated growth over the next 20 years. To learn more and provide input on the project, visit bit.ly/spfldwwmp.
Fright at the Museum - H2Oh! Style
Looking for plans this scary season? Come out to the Springfield History Museum this weekend or next (10/20-22; 10/27-29) for a journey through local history, possessed pipes, and more spooktacular twists and turns. This exciting, first-time fundraiser for the Museum offers options for both families and those seeking more thrills and chills. To learn more, click here.
Clean Water University
Last week, the MWMC hosted almost 500 students, teachers, and parents for the return of our in-person Clean Water University program! The past two years we offered the program exclusively online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so we were excited to welcome 5th graders back to our wastewater treatment plant for a field trip offering this year.

With hands-on activities about wastewater, stormwater, and drinking water as well as a tour of the facility, the goal of Clean Water University is to teach students about the importance of clean water. Thank you to all of the classes that participated in our field trip, and to all of the classes participating through our online program this school year! Teachers still have time to sign up for the virtual option, which will remain open through April 30, 2023. Click here to check out the curriculum and get connected with our team.
MWMC Staff Wins Regional Awards
Last month, members of our team traveled to Spokane for the Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association's annual conference, bringing home two exciting awards!

MWMC and City of Eugene Wastewater Operator Spencer Goodro was recognized as the Operator of the Year for Oregon, a prestigious honor for outstanding performance and innovation. Spencer has gone above and beyond to help make our Renewable Natural Gas project a success, and we are so happy to see his hard work recognized!

The MWMC also received the Excellence in Resource Recovery Award for our Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) Project. Through the new RNG facilities constructed at our treatment plant, we're able to utilize 100% of the biogas our plant produces and inject it into NW Natural's system as a sustainable energy source. This project, which came online last fall, took many years of collaboration, and we celebrate with partners City of Eugene, City of Springfield, Lane County, Kennedy/Jenks Consultants Inc., DSL Builders, and NW Natural for this recognition.

Want to learn more about our RNG project? Click here for project details and to watch our explainer video.
Drug Take Back Day
Saturday, October 29 is the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's next National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. This is a great opportunity to clean out your medicine cabinets and properly dispose of unwanted or expired medications. Doing so prevents these drugs from ending up in the wrong hands, and also helps to keep our waterways clean and free of dangerous substances. For a list of locations where prescriptions can be dropped off on October 29, click here.

Additionally, community kiosk drop-off sites at local pharmacies allow community members to dispose of prescription drugs year-round. You can also pick up or order postage paid, pre-addressed envelopes from select locations if preferred. To find a convenient drop-off site near you or to order free mail-back supplies, click here.
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Love receiving water news and tips for protecting the Willamette River each month? Forward this newsletter to a friend or colleague to share and encourage them to subscribe to our newsletter at this link. Thanks for partnering with us in our mission to protect the community's health and environment.