Portland will soon have to flush millions of gallons of treated water because a teenager decided to urinate in a reservoir as a prank. The reservoir holds the treated water until it can be sent to mains that will distribute it to customers. Over 38 million gallons of water was being held in the reservoir at the time of the prank.
The teenager was caught on tape and the incident was witnessed by Water Bureau security personnel. They saw the three young men on a security camera and noticed that one urinated through a fence while two others attempted to climb the fence. All three men were cited for trespassing and one was cited for urinating in public.
The reservoir was drained just a little over three weeks ago for its regular spring cleaning. Three years ago, Portland drained a 7.5-million-gallon reservoir at the same Mount Tabor location due to a similar incident.
Water Bureau Administrator David Shaff said that the urine would not cause harm to anyone if it was consumed by residents, but he had no intentions of distributing water that had been tainted on purpose.
"There is at least a perceived difference from my perspective," Shaff said. "I could be wrong on that, but the reality is our customers don't anticipate drinking water that's been contaminated by some yahoo who decided to pee into a reservoir."
Shaff reassured everyone that there was plenty of water to meet the city’s demands and that draining the reservoir would not cause any problems for Portland residents.
Portland is in the process of changing to an underground storage method that will help prevent such incidents from occurring and help them comply with federal regulations.
How do you think the man who urinated in the reservoir should be punished?
Image via Wikimedia Commons