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

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.


Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team