The city of Portland, Oregon, discarded 143 Million Liters (38 Million Gallons) of precious drinking water.
The city is literally flushing some much drinking water down the drain, because a 19-year old vandal urinated in the reservoir. The incident happened yesterday and the open–reservoir will be drained and sanitized, confirmed city water officials.
The water from the reservoir is to be tested for any contamination and the results will become known today, but the city has taken swift steps to declare the water as unfit for human consumption and discard the tank–load.
David Shaff, Portland Water Bureau administrator said, “That water goes directly into people’s homes. There is no way to re-treat it”, reported Reuters.
The incident is not just going to cost the city $35,000 that went into thoroughly purifying water, but the wastage is humongous. The question though lingers as to how the miscreants managed to enter the premises and execute such an ecologically heinous act.
It might not have been that difficult to climb into the reservoir since there is not adequate separation between the tank and public access. Hence, at 1 in the morning, three teens were observed at the reservoir in a Portland. David confirmed that one of them was filmed urinating through an iron fence and into the water. The Water Bureau used to keep security guards on duty at the Mt. Tabor and Washington Park reservoirs on a round the clock duty. But those posts were cut several years ago in an attempt to limit rate increases.
However, this incident should serve as an eye–opener, especially when a ‘This is your drinking water. Don’t spit, throw, toss anything in it,’ sign was barely 4 feet away from the perpetrators.
The reservoir was cleaned barely a month ago. But the officials have decided to clean it again. However, stranger things have happened to the water in Oregon and even stranger stuff has been fished out in the past, reported Oregon Live.
Portland is pretty strict about the water hygiene, but David was quite candid when he said, “Even though there is very minimal public health risk, the bottom line is that our commitment is to serve water that’s clean, cold and constant. That doesn’t include pee. Not from people, at least!”
[Images via Bing]