The second Portland reservoir flush in three years has been ordered after a man was caught on CCTV urinating into a city reservoir.
Back in June 2011 the city drained a 7.5 million-gallon reservoir, located at Mount Tabor in the southeast of Portland, due to the fact it had been tainted by urine.
This time round, cameras caught a 19-year-old urinating in a 38 million-gallon reservoir, meaning that it too will have to be fully drained.
Bureau administrator, David Shaff, said on Wednesday: “The basic commandment of the Water Bureau is to provide clean, cold and constant water to its customers. And the premise behind that is we don’t have pee in it.”
Even though the small amount of urine poses no real risk to the public, as animals frequently urinate in the reservoir, the authority still needs to drain it:
“There is at least a perceived difference from my perspective,” Shaff said. “I could be wrong on that, but the reality is our customers don’t anticipate drinking water that’s been contaminated by some yahoo who decided to pee into a reservoir.”
Fortunately, Shaff added, the city has more than enough water to go round, despite the crisis: “It’s easy to replace those 38 million gallons of water. We’re not in the arid Southwest. We’re not in drought-stricken parts of Texas or Oklahoma,” he said.
Three men were spotted by Water Bureau security personnel on camera at the Portland reservoir, one was seen deliberately urinating through an iron fence into the water below.
The men were all cited for trespassing and the man who urinated has been charged with public urination as The Multnomah County District Attorney‘s Office decides whether or not to bring further criminal charges.
Many officials in Portland are saying that the charges brought against the men should be more serious in nature in order that they can act as a deterrent for similar incidents in the future.