Portland draining reservoir after man urinates in it
Portland, Oregon's Mount Tabor reservoir holds 8 million gallons of drinking water.
June 16th, 2011
08:58 AM ET

Portland draining reservoir after man urinates in it

Oregon's Portland Water Bureau is draining an 8 million-gallon reservoir after surveillance cameras caught a man urinating into it this week.

The move will cost the water bureau $35,000 - $28,000 in lost revenue and $7,500 in disposal costs, CNN affiliate KATU-TV reports.

Is that worth it when the urine involved is really a drop in the bucket?

Scientifically, no, said Dave Stone, an assistant professor of toxicology at Oregon State University, who spoke to The Oregonian newspaper about the, er, leak.

"How many animals are doing that or birds?" Stone asked. "I don't want to second-guess the city, but I can't think of anything chemically that would have me be concerned."

Dr. Gary Oxman, a Multnomah County health officer, also told The Oregonian: "The health risk associated with that is really, really tiny."

A healthy bladder holds up to 16 ounces of urine, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Water bureau administrator David Shaff told KATU it's not about the science.

"There are people who will say it’s an overreaction,” he said. “I don’t think so. I think just dealing with the ‘yuck factor,’ I can imagine how many people would be saying, ‘I made orange juice with that water this morning. That’s not what I want to hear.’ ”

And City Commissioner Randy Leonard told CNN affiliate KGW-TV that the water in the Mount Tabor reservoir is chlorinated before it enters the reservoir.

"The water that's in the reservoir that you see is literally the water that you drink," Leonard said.

Sgt. Pete Simpson of the Portland Police Bureau told KGW the whole mess didn't have to be.

"It's really an unfortunate incident that probably could have been avoided had he chosen a bush," Simpson said.

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Filed under: Health • Oregon • Portland
soundoff (748 Responses)
  1. Jazzzzzzzz

    Gross

    June 16, 2011 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • cdogg

      The money should come from the pocket of Water bureau administrator David Shaff. Would he waste this money if it was his money? NO!

      June 16, 2011 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • bspurloc

      this is what is wrong with the United States today "‘yuck factor,’" over rules COMMON SENSE of scientific facts.
      The insanity of the ignorance of this is astounding. Do something about EDUCATING America so we can get rid of this ignorance

      June 16, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Jesus

      More poop and urine have ben added into reservoirs everywhere by animals. I don't get it.

      June 16, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jazzzzzzzz

    Where is my troll today? What? No green poop or snot? I guess it is at work.

    June 16, 2011 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  3. TvNYC

    That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard

    June 16, 2011 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  4. Krista

    What a ridiculous overreaction.

    June 16, 2011 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Vader

      Amen to that.

      June 16, 2011 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  5. Sarah Who?

    So the animals eat things such as a road kill etc... and then pee and poop in the reservoir which is ok?

    June 16, 2011 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  6. joe

    Perhaps they shouldn't allow public access to their drinking supply. Just a thought.

    June 16, 2011 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Karla Katz

      Absolutely! There should be at the least, a high fence of some sort.

      June 16, 2011 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      A fence? Like the one in the picture?

      June 16, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Karla Katz

      The fence is only a partial construction... Having been to the locale (which I'm sure you've not!), there are 3 sections without any obstruction!

      June 16, 2011 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      How many women get out of the water to pee and poo?

      June 16, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  7. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Do they swim in public pools?
    How many young boys get out of a swimming pool to p-
    ee?

    June 16, 2011 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Karla Katz

      Young boys? hah! How many MEN get out of the pool to p**?

      June 16, 2011 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  8. UMeat

    Americans are spoiled children.

    June 16, 2011 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  9. Sarah Palin

    It's about family values.

    June 16, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • gerry D

      didn't expect anything better from u sarah

      June 16, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Nancy Wion

      Nooo You are off topic yet again. Its about the yuck factor.
      But I am sure glad the Weiner jokes are over.

      June 17, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Michael MN

    But some bird flying over dropping a big one is different ?

    June 16, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  11. joe

    If they allow people to swim in the reservoir then how many people do they think pee in it? Quite a few I'd say.

    June 16, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  12. :)

    i like the "$7,500 in disposal costs"......does it really cost that much to open the drain???

    June 16, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave B

      Yeah. . . drain into what?

      June 16, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • TEK77

      I will give them somewhere to drain it for less than half that cost.

      June 18, 2011 at 5:51 am | Report abuse |
  13. Karenengr

    Urine is STERILE. Draining the reservoir is a complete waste of money and a waste of water resources. Some cultures even drink urine in religious/health ceremonies.

    June 16, 2011 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  14. Poppy

    I think i was the guy that peed in that reservoir

    June 16, 2011 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  15. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Oh, I see, Sarah.
    Hey–come swimming with me. Can you do the back stroke?

    June 16, 2011 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
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