College Hill Reservoir closed for Fourth: 'It's a water security issue'

EUGENE, Ore. -- The College Hill Water Reservoir is closed from June 28 to July 8 to prevent water contamination and damage caused by fireworks.

Eugene Water and Electric Board official Joe Harwood said they've had issues during Fourth of July festivities in the past with fireworks contaminating the water.

"In 2010, 2011 and again this last summer, we've had some knuckleheads go up there and shoot off fireworks," Harwood said. "Not only does that have the potential to compromise the water supply, it also costs several thousand dollars to fix that very specialized elastic coating."

EWEB has been working with neighbors in the area like Bill Watson to patrol the reservoir and keep the area firework-free this year.

"It's important to those of us in the neighborhood that the reservoir continues to be open to the public. Lots of kids play up there, we walk up there and there are regularly people riding bikes on it," said Watson.

"It's a water security issue. And I don't think it's asking a whole lot. If folks want to light a firework they can do it on the street or they can do it on the old reservoir. They don't need to do it on the College Hill Reservoir and put thousands of people at rise for contamination," Harwood added.

Even after the reservoir reopens on July 8, neighbors say they'll continue to work together to keep our drinking water clean and the reservoir open to the public.