City To Drain Entire Reservoir After Man Pees In It

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(Portland, OR) The City of Portland, Oregon, is preparing to dump millions of gallons of treated water for the second time in less than three years, because someone urinated into a city reservoir.

In June 2011, the city drained a 7.5 million-gallon reservoir at Mount Tabor in southeast Portland.

This time, 38 million gallons from a different reservoir at the same location will be discarded after a 19-year-old was videotaped in the act.

“The basic commandment of the Water Bureau is to provide clean, cold and constant water to its customers,” bureau administrator David Shaff said Wednesday. “And the premise behind that is we don’t have pee in it.”

The incident occurred shortly after 1 a.m., when Water Bureau security personnel noticed three men on camera at Mount Tabor Reservoir No. 5.

One was seen on video urinating through an iron fence, officials said.

Minutes later, two other young men attempted to scale the fence.

The open reservoirs hold water that has already been treated and goes directly into mains for distribution to customers.

The urine poses little risk, animals routinely deposit waste without creating a public health crisis, but Shaff said he doesn’t want to serve water that was deliberately tainted.

“The reality is our customers don’t anticipate drinking water that’s been contaminated by some yahoo who decided to pee into a reservoir,” said Shaff

He told CBS Portland affiliate KOIN-TV upgraded security cameras and sensors on the fences helped bureau personnel determine what the 19-year-old had done.

Water-quality test samples have been taken from the reservoir, with the results due Thursday.

The water will be drained into the sewage system, eventually reaching a treatment plant before it’s dumped into the Columbia River.

The three men, whose names have not been released, were cited for trespassing and excluded from Mount Tabor Park.

A 19-year-old was cited for public urination.

The kidney-shaped reservoir, built in 1911, is drained for cleaning each spring and fall. The spring draining was done about three weeks ago, the Water Bureau said.

The reservoir is one of five the city is in the process of replacing with underground storage to comply with federal regulations.

Floy Jones, co-founder of the group Friends of the Reservoirs, criticized the decision to drain the reservoir, saying there’s no evidence any urine reached the water and it wouldn’t harm anyone if it did.

“It’s extremely wasteful,” she said.


  • onememphisdude

    It’s Oregon. Had this happened in say, a small town in Alabama, the suspect could have been publicly horse whipped and coated in Tar and feathers, Problem solved…at minimal tax payer cost!

    • Chris Williams

      This would never happen in Alabama. Contrary to popular belief, the folks of Alabama are very intelligent people and wouldn’t do anything like this.

  • Skeptic

    I would be more worried about the other stuff that gets into the water. Wildlife, pollen, and many other things an get into the water tat is much worse than pee. But then again this is West Coast wackos.

    • Chris Williams

      @ skeptic…What could be worse than somebody with a possible disease (like HIV) urinating in drinking water??

      • SC

        @Chris- Even if the guy did have HIV, urine does not transmit the virus. Not to mention that a cup of pee going into a 38 million gallon tank is a drop in the bucket. There’s no way that would be enough to contaminate that water.

  • MikeBarret

    Don’t they know what fish do in water? They f$%k in it! Better drain out that whole thing again, also probably a bunch of dead raccoon, maybe dead armadillo, you know armadillo carries leprosy right? What about a skunk falling dead in that water, nobody wants to drink that.

    Oh wait, you mean the water in the reservoir goes through a treatment plant before any human drinks it? That’s what I thought. It’s not like all of us in Memphis are drinking catfish sh%& and muskrat guts every day. Always going to be some doofus over reacting, this time his name is David Shaff.

    • Catrice

      that’s what I want to know. His parents should not be the only one. H should have a fine along with his buddies he was with.

  • Joe

    what insanity by the city…….cant believe they are seriously doing this…..

    bureaucrats in action……

    totally brain dead…..

    the water is fine……

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