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Man pees in reservoir, now Portland to drain water: What about bird droppings?

When a man was caught on security camera peeing in the reservoir that supplies Portland, Oregon with its water, an unbelievable decision was made. The water authority is draining the entire reservoir because of this tiny contamination. Don’t bird droppings or duck and geese excrement get into the water?

When a man pees in the drinking water in Portland, the town decides to drain the entire reservoir.
City of Portland Water Bureau

According to USA Today on April 17, the water company will flush and waste 38 million gallons of water. This is really not a health issue, since the water is cleaned through a series of filters before it makes it into people’s homes. This decision is more politically correct based than it is a health guard. The water company knows that the video is out there of the guy relieving himself in the water supply, so to make the customers feel at ease, they will drain the water.

This is seen as a ridiculous waste by many, especially since there are places in the U.S. that don’t have the luxury of water in abundance right now. It was about 1 a.m. local time on Wednesday when some guy happens along and stands in front of a chain link fence aiming his stream of urine into the reservoir water.

A few minutes later two other men attempt to scale the fence, with one of the men making it into the water. All three unnamed men were caught and cited with trespassing. They were told they were not allowed in Mount Tabor Park again. The one man who actually urinated in the water was cited for public urination.

According to NPR News today, back in 2011, another man urinated in the same reservoir, he pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor of “misuse of a reservoir.” Additional charges may fall on these three friends once police take a closer look at the video.

David Shaff, the administrator of the Portland Water Bureau appeared on TV stating his case for draining the entire reservoir. He said it was necessary after a man was seen urinating in the water. Shaff said:

"Our customers have an expectation that their water is not deliberately contaminated," said Shaff while acknowledging that the health risk is slight. "We have the ability to meet that expectation while minimizing public health concerns."

This is seen as going a bit overboard by many, considering the water is cleaned through filters before making it into the faucets of the homes in Portland. While no one wants to think of human urine being in the water you are drinking, the stuff that goes into the water via animals and birds has to be just as disgusting.

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