After a man urinated in Mount Tabor reservoir in Portland, Oregon, early on Wednesday morning that supplies city drinking water, the city took it offline and said it’ll cost about $35,000 to drain, clean and refill it.
The incident was caught on grainy surveillance video. After unknown objects were tossed in the reservoir, a man walks up and urinates right into the drinking water. It will cost more than $7,500 to empty the reservoir, and that drinking water would have sold for more than $28,000.
“It’s 8 million gallons and there are people who will say it’s an overreaction,” said David Shaff, administrator for the Portland Water Bureau. “I don’t think so. I think just dealing with the ‘yuck factor,’ I can imagine how many people would be saying ‘I made orange juice with that water this morning. That’s not what I want to hear.’” Shaff said they do find other things in reservoirs but don’t dump the water.
“If I shut down the reservoir every time a tennis ball, a dead duck or a dead squirrel or a Frisbee was in the reservoir, I’d shut them down almost daily,” he said. But he said urine is different and he’d rather be cautious. The 21-year-old who urinated in the reservoir said that he’s sorry he did it and feels bad. No one has been arrested or cited in this case. The cleaning could take several days.