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.

Post by:
Filed under: Health • Oregon • Portland
soundoff (748 Responses)
  1. poopoo

    what's wrong with being fat or even obese. you cant help but be fat when your income is supported by the free money from tax payers. this is the best we can do to show you idiots that your tax dollars are working.

    June 16, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Fred Evil

      Wow, you are an idiot....best of luck with your meds today.

      June 16, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • me1an1e

      you're so right, I mean, heck, gov christie of NJ and Rush Limbaugh are but 2 examples that prove your point.

      June 16, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  2. Glenn

    This is nonsense and a waste...this body of water is not covered therefore I am sure that there are a variety of rodents, birds and other vermin pooping and peeing all day long. Stupidity at the highest level and wasting money that could be used for something else with an unemployment rate hovering at 8-9 %.

    June 16, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jonathan

    If I lived in Portland I would be more upset that my drinking water is exposed to the elements after it has been final treated... if this water is the water you drink I would get a Brita

    June 16, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  4. Duh?

    This is amazing. No, Water does not come from a plastic bottle or the magic faucett in the kitchen. It actually comes from that place we call "outside". Uggg. I'm not going anywhere near Portland. They dun be da smartest people ever!

    June 16, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  5. BG

    That's a pi§§er

    June 16, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jason B.

    As the article mentioned, how many animals are peeing in that water daily anyway? I guy going #1 certainly isn't going to make a bit of difference. Really...max 16 ounces in 8 million gallons? I doubt any testing would've detected a thing.

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

      There's some homeopaths who would argue that is a lethal dilution.

      June 16, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Alessandro

      Better spend the money on security so that this doesn't happen again!

      June 16, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  7. joe

    Do they know if the man is healthy though?

    June 16, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  8. JayNYC

    Wait - who uses water to make orange juice?!?

    June 16, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  9. Juno

    Sounds like overkill. I used to live in India, and one day we took a bus for 4 hours, rickshaw for 1 hour, hiked for one hour to arrive in a village – only to find there were no wells and the only drinking water was a small fishpond, which everyone peed in. The only drinking option was water from the pond, which we drank and lived to tell the tale. Draining the entire reservoir for one guy peeing seems like an enormous waste of public funds.

    June 16, 2011 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  10. kurtinco

    This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Astronauts drink recycled urine. If this guy actually had a full 16 oz. in his bladder, it would amount to 0.00000002% of the content of the 8 million gallons water. Do you even know how small that number is? 2 trillionths of 1 percent!!! This guy needs to be fired for such a stupid and costly reaction.

    June 16, 2011 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Kenny

      I agree 100%.

      June 16, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  11. RG

    I thought that orange juice had a little wang to it.

    June 16, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  12. luckyponytoo

    Send the guy the bill. Health risk or not, this guy went out of his way to do something he knew was utterly disgusting.

    Of course, I don't even want to think of what they are going to find at the bottom of this reservoir once they drain it.

    June 16, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  13. bdgfn

    Your tax dollars at work, Portland!

    June 16, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  14. Tim

    People still drink tap water? lol. I just drink dasani

    June 16, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Alessandro

      Which is tap water as well.

      June 16, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  15. irsh

    Im sorry guys...whenever i see water, i need to pee. My bad guys. sorry

    June 16, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34