EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) – With just about one week until the 4th of July holiday, EWEB is asking people to keep their fireworks off of a south Eugene water reservoir.
The water and electric utility is reminding the public that fireworks are not allowed at the College Hill Reservoir on 25th Avenue and Lawrence Street in Eugene.
The reservoir has left its roof open to the public since 1939 so that people can use it for recreational purposes including biking, jogging, stargazing and more.
However, over the last few years, EWEB has had several issues with damage to the reservoir’s roof because of fireworks. Fireworks have been banned from the roof since 2010, but still, many people are ignoring the ban,
EWEB has tried to close public access to the reservoir three times in the last decade, however, each time a public outcry has saved it.
If firework damage continues though, as it did in 2011, public access may change.
"We're balancing public access with the security and the health of the water supply and people's actions do have consequences and so folks really need to stay on top of it and treat it with respect,” says Joe Harwood, a communications specialist with EWEB.
If you need a spot for fireworks, just to the north of the reservoir (or the left if you’re facing it) there’s a giant concrete pad that you can use.
Over the year, EWEB has spent more than $3,000 to repair the firework damage to the reservoir. The reservoir operates primarily in the summertime, serving southwest Eugene residents with 1-million gallons of drinking water.
Keeping the reservoir roof open has been a large expense as well. Recently, EWEB spent about $1-million dollars to enhance security and the structural integrity of the reservoir.