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Teen's prank ruins millions of gallons of drinking water

Portland Reservoir To Be Flushed After Man Urinates In It
Portland city officials are having to flush millions of gallons of treated reservoir water after a 19-year-old man allegedly relieved himself in a non-traditional location.

It happened around 1 o'clock Wednesday morning as three teens snuck into Portland's Reservoir 5, which holds some of the city's drinking water. This security footage obtained by KGW-TV reportedly shows one of the guys leaning against the fence and presumably urinating.

Those three men were detained shortly after they were seen in the security footage, and KPTV reports hours later, Portland city officials decided to take the 50-million gallon reservoir offline and flush 38-million gallons.

The Portland Water Bureau there's little risk to the public's health but bureau administrator David Shaff says, "Our customers have an expectation that their water is not deliberately contaminated. We have the ability to meet that expectation."

This kind of incident has happened once before. KOIN reports the city flushed 8 million gallons of water in 2011 after a 21-year-old man urinated in another reservoir.

The Oregonian reports that previous episode was said to have cost $35,000, but KATU reports this most recent incident won't cost the city anything seeing that city employees are already scheduled to work.

Portland police cited all three men for trespassing and cited one of the men for public urination. The security footage will be reviewed by the district attorney's office and those men could face criminal charges.

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crotalus April 17 2014 at 12:01 PM

All the folks commenting about this not being a real issue, that the dilution factor makes it a non-issue; that birds defecate in the water; that windblown pollutants settle in the water are all correct.

The response is a PR response, due to the expected public outrage if officials didn't do "something" and continued drawing drinking water from that particular reservoir.

Also....it is my understanding the Feds have directed Portland to cover their drinking water reservoirs. It is something of a controversy, but I do believe it is going to happen. If this guy could get in, then what's to stop someone with a more serious agenda from poisoning the water supply.

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2 replies
gov111w crotalus April 17 2014 at 12:06 PM

How do you cover such a facility, here in the NE I know of no reservoirs that are covered. Peeing in drinking water is a low class thing to do, some people just won't ever get it !!

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bonitoking61 crotalus April 17 2014 at 1:18 PM

The real crime is dumping 38 million gallons.

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Ken April 17 2014 at 11:19 AM

So does this mean that the water from this resivoir which as everone continues to point out is contaminated already from various animal sources goes directly to Portland's faucets without first going through filtration and water treatment?

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2 replies
jrc22552 Ken April 17 2014 at 11:24 AM

Better to handle it this way than to start a "let's go and piss in the reservoir fad.

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1 reply
Ken jrc22552 April 17 2014 at 11:51 AM

Right...as if people would be lining up for their turn. Just how does every other city in the world that relies on a resevoir system protect THEIR drinking water? This all seems a bit much, doesn't it?

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Mitch Ken April 17 2014 at 11:30 AM

It was already treated. Read, then comment.

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1 reply
Ken Mitch April 17 2014 at 1:19 PM

I seriously doubt that these millions of gallons of "treated" water were truly ready for human consumption without further filtration or treatment. Lord only knows what contaminants it could pick up sitting out in the open like that. Believe me there is a final step or several steps before it gets to the faucet.

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captdennis April 17 2014 at 11:16 AM

More insanity from the "Left" Coast. If the guy who made this decision had a brain it would rattle.

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PHANTOM6838 April 17 2014 at 11:15 AM

I saw the Bigfoot peeing into the Portland Reservoir once

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paulhloeb April 17 2014 at 11:12 AM

I saw a rare albino unicorn peeing into a reservoir once, so I shot it. The idea of 4oz of urine in 38 million gallons of water repulses me. WC Fields said once "Water? I never drink water. Fish pee in it."

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standard April 17 2014 at 11:12 AM

Stupid stupid stupid!! How many wild animals, birds, etc. eliminate in the water daily? Don't the do anything to the water before it gets the customer? I'm sure there are alot of people in California that would take the water asis.

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kevinsweeneyme April 17 2014 at 11:11 AM

Along with the water Portland Water Bureau officials flushed their common sense.

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G2 Services, Ltd April 17 2014 at 11:08 AM

An open reservoir is subject to contamination from birds, animals, and air pollution. Every City on the Mississippi is drinking the effluent from the City upstream. This is a knee jerk reaction.

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captdaddy54 April 17 2014 at 11:06 AM

That is ridiculous, what is the city doing about dogs, cats birds and bats?

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cessnatx April 17 2014 at 11:03 AM

Just so you all won't worry...When you "FLUSH" your Toilet the water just disappears....never to be seen again .....Right ? uh oh

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