Portland, Oregon Flushes Water Reservoir
After Man Urinates In It
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[April 17, 2014]
By Teresa Carson
PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) — Portland,
Oregon is flushing 38 million gallons (143 million liters) of drinking
water down the drain because a 19-year-old man urinated in an open
reservoir early on Wednesday morning, city water officials said.
Three teens were observed at the reservoir in a Portland park at
about 1:00 a.m. Wednesday, Portland Water Bureau spokesman David
Shaff said, and one of them was filmed urinating through an iron
fence into the water.
The other two tried to climb the fence and one got into the secure
area around the reservoir, but Shaff said it is not clear what he
The 50-million-gallon (189-million-liter) reservoir was taken off
line and was tested for possible contamination and the results will
be known Thursday. But in the meantime, the city has decided to
"discard" 38 million gallons of water and clean the reservoir, Shaff
"That water goes directly into people's homes," David Shaff,
Portland Water Bureau administrator said. "There is no way to
The three teens were cited for trespassing and one for public
urination. Additional charges could be filed as the investigation
"We are not in the arid Southwest," Shaff said, "We have hundreds of
millions of gallons available, so that makes it an easy call for me"
to discard the water. He estimated the cost of cleaning and
replacing the water at several thousand dollars.
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The Federal government has mandated that Portland and all other
cities cover their water reservoirs, Shaff said, and this group of
Portland reservoirs will be finished by December 2015.
Shaff has not seen the police report and could not comment on motive
but said alcohol may have been involved.
(Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Eric Walsh)
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