So Portland's Not Flushing That Urine-Tainted Reservoir After All

So Portland's Not Flushing That Urine-Tainted Reservoir After All

Remember when Portland was gonna dump 38 million gallons of drinking water because that one dude peed in it? Well, it turns out the city has had a change of heart, and the water won't be flushed—at least not just yet.

According to NBC News, the tainted water was diverted to another reservoir where it's currently being monitored. It likely won't be used for drinking but it will be serving a purpose: The water will be tested for quality over the next few months while Portland is required to take all its open-air reservoirs offline by 2015 due to new federal mandates. Oh, and due to heavy rains, the original reservoir was refilled rather quickly. Good old Portland.

Also thanks to NBC News, you can watch video of the dude doing the deed. The per-pee-trator, Dallas Swonger, urinates on the sloped wall of the reservoir, while his two friends actually climb over the fence, and one of them goes into the water. Of course, they also all take selfies. [NBC News]

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Pending approvalOriginal post by Alissa Walker on Gizmodo

Portland's Draining An Entire Reservoir Because One Dude Peed In It

Portland's Draining An Entire Reservoir Because One Dude Peed In It

Urine trouble, Portland. Thirty-eight million gallons of treated, ready-to-drink water will be flushed into the Columbia River after a teenager peed in a city reservoir.

The incident happened early Wednesday morning. At least one teenager was seen on a surveillance camera as he peed through the wrought-iron fence that surrounds the Mt. Tabor Reservoir, which is located in a park east of downtown. Two other teenagers were caught trying to scale the fence. They were all cited for trespassing, and the pisser cited for public urination.

Amidst outcry from environmentalists, Water Bureau Administrator David Shaff defended the move to drain the water: "The reality is our customers don't anticipate drinking water that's been contaminated by some yahoo who decided to pee into a reservoir."

The crazier thing (could it get crazier?) is that this is actually not the first time this has happened to poor Pee-D-X. In 2011, 21-year-old Josh Seater did the same thing at the same reservoir, causing the city to drain over eight million gallons of drinking water. "I had a pleasant buzz and I should have known better," Seater told the police officer who caught him on a surveillance camera.

A dribble of pee is seriously a few drops in the bucket—birds do all sorts of unspeakably grody things to the drinking water in open reservoirs, for example. But this kind of episode—in addition to serious threats like terrorism—is one of the reasons that many cities are being required to take their open-air reservoirs offline.

Still, is Portland over-reacting just a little? After the 2011 incident, Shaff himself admitted to reporters that it wasn't really an issue of public safety. "More likely than not a tiny bit of urine in eight million gallons of water isn't going to hurt anybody," he said. So is there really any reason to spend all this money to flush it?

Hey, at least they live in a place where the water will be replenished relatively quickly. If this happened in drought-stricken Southern California, we'd be drinking that pee, dammit—whether we want to or not. [AP]

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

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