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Portland Reservoir: 38M Gallons to Be Dumped After Teen Pees in Water

Image: Portland Reservoir: 38M Gallons to Be Dumped After Teen Pees in Water

By Morgan Chilson   |   Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 06:13 PM

After a 19-year-old urinated in a Portland, Ore., reservoir, authorities have decided to dump the 38 million gallons of treated water.

"The basic commandment of the Water Bureau is to provide clean, cold, and constant water to its customers," bureau administrator David Shaff told The Associated Press. "And the premise behind that is we don't have pee in it."

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The city made the same decision in 2011 when a man was caught urinating in a 7.5 million-gallon reservoir.

Tests of the water showed it to be clean, Portland Water Bureau spokeswoman Jaymee Cuti told the AP. But Shaff said Portland has water to spare, and he didn’t want to offer water that was fouled.

“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."

Five Portland reservoirs hold treated water, and they are being replaced with underground storage under direction from the federal government.

The incident was caught on security video and the alleged perpetrator was cited for public urination, The Oregonian reported. Others with him were charged with trespassing.

“It’s stupid. You can see the sign that says: ‘This is your drinking water. Don’t spit, throw, toss anything in it.’ He’s four feet away from that sign. Unless he’s from North Dakota and just moved here, he’s got to know that’s our drinking water,” Shaff said, The Oregonian reported.

Cleanup after the 2011 incident cost the city about $35,000.

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