TIME Crime

Portland Dumps 38 Million Gallons of Water After Man Pees in Reservoir

The Mount Tabor number 1 reservoir in Portland, Ore., seen 2011.
The Mount Tabor number 1 reservoir in Portland, Ore., seen 2011. Benjamin Brink—AP

The city plans to dump 38 million gallons of water after authorities say a 19-year-old urinated in a large, uncovered reservoir during an early morning jaunt with two other friends, even though the contamination likely poses little risk

Portland, Oregon has decided to dump 38 million gallons of drinking water after a 19-year-old urinated into an open reservoir, the Associated Press reports.

Portland Water Bureau spokesman David Shaff said three teens were spotted at the reservoir at around 1:00 am. One male was filmed urinating through a fence into the already-treated water.

Shaff said the urine poses little risk—water quality test sample results are due on Thursday—but the city still decided to ditch most of the water.

“There is at least a perceived difference from my perspective,” Shaff said, according to the AP. “Our customers don’t anticipate drinking water that’s been contaminated by some yahoo who decided to pee into a reservoir.”

“We’re not in the arid Southwest,” he said, the AP reports. “It’s easy to replace those 38 million gallons of water.”

The uncovered reservoir holds water that has already been treated before it’s distributed to customers. It’s one of five similar reservoirs in the city that are being replaced by underground storage systems in order to meet federal regulations.

The three unnamed men were cited for trespassing, while one was also cited for public urination.

[AP]

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser