Portland Flushes 38 Million Gallons of Water Over One Man's Pee

Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 04:31 PM

By Sharon Churcher

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Though they concede it is unlikely that the citizenry was endangered, officials in Portland, Ore., have decided to drain 38 million gallons of water from a reservoir after a young man was observed urinating into it Wednesday.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reported that the criminal was caught in the act on security cameras.

The broadcasting network elaborated that he was one of three unidentified men “cited for trespassing after being stopped at the site early Wednesday morning.

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"One was also cited for public urination. The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office will decide whether to pursue criminal charges."

After Portland Water Bureau officials reviewed the videotape, they decided the water in the kidney-shaped reservoir needed to go. The Oregonian interviewed city Commissioner Nick Fish, who explained that flushing 38 million gallons from the Mount Tabor Reservoir was the "conservative but correct call" even if it did prompt complaints that regulators were overreacting or wasting water.

"I didn't have a choice," Fish said, the newspaper reported. "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.'"

This is not the first time Portland has confronted a pee problem. In 2011, a man who was caught er urinating into a reservoir pleaded guilty to "misuse of a reservoir" and was sentenced to 24 hours of community service at a local food pantry.

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