Portland Decides to Use Pee Water as Experiment
Water Bureau ended up flushing no more than 3M of the 38M gallons
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2014 6:15 AM CDT
The Mount Tabor number 1 reservoir in Portland, Ore., is seen in a June 20, 2011 photo.   (AP Photo/The Oregonian, Benjamin Brink)

(Newser) – Portland's Water Bureau administrators sounded fairly adamant when they said some 38 million gallons of water would have to be flushed from one of the city's reservoirs after a teen was caught peeing in it, even though the water tested negative for contamination. They've since somewhat changed their minds. The bureau began draining Reservoir 5 shortly after the incident, but days later no more than 3 million gallons had reached the city's sewers. "The rate of draining Res 5 was slow and we wanted to get it back into service," said a spokeswoman by way of the Oregonian.

And so the decision was made to instead direct the 35 million gallons or so that remained to Reservoir 6, and as of last night, that task was completed, KGW reports. That reservoir was "valved off" in 2010 after the city determined it didn't need it. Now, it'll function as a sort of experiment to see if the city's reservoirs, which are in the process of being decommissioned following a government order that they be covered, can be kept as water features, or whether they'll become stagnant algae pools in short order. "We've decided to keep it there to see how long we can keep it clear,” said the spokeswoman yesterday; she says no decision has been made of the water's ultimate fate, and that Reservoir 5 has been refilled and is serving residents.

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Showing 3 of 22 comments
dollyllama
May 1, 2014 6:38 PM CDT
Where do the fish pee?
JackNelsonSteward
May 1, 2014 4:03 PM CDT
That reservoir is outside? It's not covered? There's bird shit, dead lizards and all kinds of dead insects in there. There's probably a dead mammal or two in there, ... and the notion that eight ounces of urine is in ANY way a "contaminant" in such a place is a HUGE JOKE.
Ezekiel 25:17
May 1, 2014 11:33 AM CDT
Admit it, we've all done it, pee in the reservoir. But please do carry one of those camping toilets on your boat if you get my drift. Well, at least carry a 1965 replica Ames shovel and a roll of toilet paper. You can pull over and do a quick latrine stop. Just be sure to scout out the lake patrol. It may be illegal to do a dump on a public owned lake island. So I'm about to pick up a group who took out 10 canoes. I have the canoe trailer and I'm arriving to #9 landing (onetime voted #1 lake party beach). So the lake ranger is writing out a warning to the trip leader. He had let some of his kids pee of the side of the canoe and Mr. ranger saw them. So I arrive and ask what the charges are and ranger rick tells me. So I look at the finished ticket and it has the wrong name for the leader and it says, "McAlester Boy Scouts." I had to hold my laugh because we hate scouts, we loath them, we don't even allow Eagle Scouts and we outright ban Order of the Arrow members from all of the horrible antics including setting a forest fire. So after ranger rick leaves, I tell the leader, "Smart, very smart."