Wonderful Engineering

Portland Flushed 38 Million Gallons of Water From Its Reserviour, All Because of One Man’s Pee

You usually find public warning messages telling visitors that they are not supposed to litter. However, such signs get more and more serious with respect to where they are displayed at.
For instance; at the reservoirs in Portland’s Mount Tabor Park, the water present is the water that is used for drinking in Portland city and therefore, you will find a plethora of signs that will tell you not to throw anything in the water. However, apparently these signs were not enough to stop one guy from urinating into the water, which was the city’s water supply. Albeit it was ascertained that the chance of public endangerment is quite less, the Portland officials stated that since there is a chance, therefore the water shall be flushed.

According to the OPB report; ‘Three unidentified men were cited for trespassing after being stopped at the site early Wednesday morning. One was also cited for public urination.” The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office will decide whether to pursue criminal charges.

The Portland Water Bureau officials decided, once they saw what had happened, that this water needs to be flushed. According to Nick Fish, Portland City Commissioner, the call to flush out the 38 million gallon water after a man urinated in the reservoir was the right call to make. He said; ‘I didn’t have a choice. I don’t have the luxury of slicing it too thin when there’s a potential risk, however small, to public health. Frankly, it’s one of those calls where you know you’re likely to be criticized no matter what. The professionals, who report to me all said, ‘Dump the water. Don’t take any chances.’ It’s the conservative but correct call.’

The Oregonian stated that: ‘Strange things end up in Portland’s water supply all the time, with minimal risk or impact to users. … In 2008, a man and a woman caught skinny dipping in Mt. Tabor were sentenced to 16 hours of community service each. The federal government has ordered Portland and other cities with open-air reservoirs to cover them. City leaders are waiting on results of a May ballot measure that could shift control of the Water Bureau from the City Council to a new independently elected board to decide how to proceed.’

The officials don’t know for sure yet that how much this whole endeavor of flushing out, cleaning will cost but we’re guessing it will be above $ 35,000. To all those who think being a prankster is hip; act a bit responsibly! Check out the video report below: