The City of Portland, Oregon just drained off some 8 million gallons of its fresh water supply. Why? Because some kid decided to take a leak while hiking with some friends.
21-year-old Josh Seater was caught on surveillance camera urinating into the city’s reservoir; later telling police that he “had a pleasant buzz and I should have known better.” City officials however, freaked out and decided to flush 8 MILLION GALLONS OF DRINKING WATER down the drain.
“Public health officials say, however, that urine is sterile in healthy people and that the urine in the reservoir was so diluted – perhaps a half pint in millions of gallons – that it posed little risk.”
No kidding. And this isn’t some self-contained, sealed reservoir that the kid had to open a hatch to gain access to. This is the open air variety in-the-middle-of-nature kind. You know, the one that ducks and other animals routinely enjoy, crap in, pee in, and gasp!, sometime even die in. In fact, according to David Shaff, administrator of the city water bureau, cleaners of the reservoir regularly find paint cans, construction material, fireworks, dead things, and even poop bags (from dog owners). Nevertheless, he said the “yuck” factor was the primary reason for flushing the 8 million.
“Nobody wants to drink pee, and I don’t want to deal with the 100 people who would be unhappy that I’m serving them pee in their water,” he said. And how much did the estimated two cups of pee cost the city? Nearly $30,000. Nice move, Portland.