The area of College Hill between Lincoln and Lawrence and 23rd and 25th is the repository for drinking water for the City of Eugene. When we turn on the kitchen tap, water the lawn, or wash the car, chances are the water we are using comes from one of three reservoirs located on College Hill. The reservoirs and green water tower are owned and operated by the Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB).
The oldest of these reservoirs is close to 23rd and Lawrence. This one is known as the 603 reservoir, which is the number of feet above sea level to the overflow pipe at the top of the reservoir. This large concrete tank began life about 1915. In the beginning it had an open top and was surrounded by a wrought iron rail. About 19 years later it was covered with the present concrete lid. This concrete tank holds about two and one-half million gallons of water when filled.
Adjacent to this reservoir is the 607 reservoir, the large concrete structure with the pipe railing around the perimeter. The 607 reservoir was a product of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Public Works Administration and constructed in 1939. This reservoir is divided into two sections, north and south, which when combined hold some fifteen million gallons of water. This facility is teamed with a larger reservoir near 25th and Hawkins, and other facilities store a supply of drinking water for the City of Eugene.
At the very top of the Friendly Area Neighborhood is the 703 reservoir, also completed in 1939. This steel tank is about thirty feet in diameter and twenty feet tall. Its six legs raise it some seven hundred feet above sea level where its red blinking light can be seen from most of downtown. This reservoir holds about one hundred thousand gallons and serves the homes in the immediate area which would have insufficient water pressure if gravity fed from the adjacent in-ground storage.