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Still Waters

Portland dumps 38m gallons of water

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The US city of Portland, Oregon, is dumping 38m gallons (143m litres) of water from its reservoir after a teenager was caught urinating into the water supply.

CCTV footage of the Mt Tabor reservoir captured the man urinating and two others attempting to scale the reservoir's fence.

http://www.bbc.co.uk...canada-27069611

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Posted (edited)

This is, perhaps, one of the dopiest things I have heard about in long while. A 1/2 a cup of urine in 38 million gallons of water couldn't possibly affect the water in any way. Especially when you consider all the animal waste that has to find its way into that open area.

Edited by Merc14
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If they don't want it they should just ship it down to California. After the drought they've been going through they won't mind a little p*** in thier water.

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I heard about this yesterday. Ridiculous and stupid.

Never mind the bird poop, the raccoon poop, the opossum poop, the fish poop, the decomposing fish and animal carcasses...that's all good! But that kid had super powerful poison urine...must drain!

This rates very high on the waste and stupidity scale...farmers and people are rationing water but let just throw millions of gallons away....

What party runs this municipality?

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Probably wasn't the first kid to do it and certainly won't be the last.

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And if they had done nothing, the litigation mad members of society would have had a field day suing over "pee water" and claiming they've been poisoned etc by it.

"In Catch-22 we suffer" should be on your money rather then "In God we Trust".

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And if they had done nothing, the litigation mad members of society would have had a field day suing over "pee water" and claiming they've been poisoned etc by it.

"In Catch-22 we suffer" should be on your money rather then "In God we Trust".

If Portlanders are that squeamish over a little pollution then they'd better call it a day. A few ounces of botulinum toxin yeah..but URINE? They're a real bunch of manly men, aren't they? :w00t:

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A little urine in the diet is a good thing. And no, this time I'm not talking about golden showers or water sports.

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You're just talking the p*** now Yams

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The guy that authorized this needs to be fired and fired immediately.

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Wow, so ridiculous... How can anyone with a brain or conscience waste so much? Wait, no one has those anymore.

I don't even waste a cup of water without feeling bad about it.

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What was wasteful about it? It's not like the water was destroyed, it was let back into the natural water cycle. I agree that they should have found a non-potable use for that water instead of just draining it off but the Pacific Northwest has enough water that 38m gallons of water is a pittance.

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Posted (edited)

The US city of Portland, Oregon, is dumping 38m gallons (143m litres) of water from its reservoir after a teenager was caught urinating into the water supply.

CCTV footage of the Mt Tabor reservoir captured the man urinating and two others attempting to scale the reservoir's fence.

http://www.bbc.co.uk...canada-27069611

I've walked by this reservoir many times. It is an open air concrete basin. It has a 6 foot iron fence around it. It used to be that the gates were open and people could walk along the rim of the basin, but now they lock it, because....

Teens and other kids repeatedly threw trash in there. Some threw dead animals in there. Some dropped their feces in there. Some threw their dog's feces in there. All that crap started making a nice gunky layer along the bottom, and POed the population. So they locked the gates, but kids still regularly climb the fence and pee into it or toss tires into it, and whatnot. That is why they prosecute the people doing so, because to NOT prosecute would make it open season for other kids to toss stuff in there.

There was a plan to build a cover over the basin, but it was decided that it cost more to build the cover then to empty the basin two or three times a year into the near future.

The water from the reservoir goes directly from the basin to the taps of Portland, it is not filtered or treated after leaving the basin. So when the basin gets something in it, it is a big deal.

Also I don't think anyone considers that water wasted. The basin is like 1/16th of a mile long and 1/32nd of a mile wide, but just down the hill there is a river that is 1/2 a mile wide (the Willamette River), so water is not something people in Portland really worry about. About many times the water volume of the basin goes into the river whenever it rains....

The city annually uses about 33 Billion gallons, so the 38 million gallons is about 2.5 days of water for the city.

Edited by DieChecker
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I've walked by this reservoir many times. It is an open air concrete basin. It has a 6 foot iron fence around it. It used to be that the gates were open and people could walk along the rim of the basin, but now they lock it, because....

Teens and other kids repeatedly threw trash in there. Some threw dead animals in there. Some dropped their feces in there. Some threw their dog's feces in there. All that crap started making a nice gunky layer along the bottom, and POed the population. So they locked the gates, but kids still regularly climb the fence and pee into it or toss tires into it, and whatnot. That is why they prosecute the people doing so, because to NOT prosecute would make it open season for other kids to toss stuff in there.

There was a plan to build a cover over the basin, but it was decided that it cost more to build the cover then to empty the basin two or three times a year into the near future.

The water from the reservoir goes directly from the basin to the taps of Portland, it is not filtered or treated after leaving the basin. So when the basin gets something in it, it is a big deal.

Also I don't think anyone considers that water wasted. The basin is like 1/16th of a mile long and 1/32nd of a mile wide, but just down the hill there is a river that is 1/2 a mile wide (the Willamette River), so water is not something people in Portland really worry about. About many times the water volume of the basin goes into the river whenever it rains....

The city annually uses about 33 Billion gallons, so the 38 million gallons is about 2.5 days of water for the city.

That is all fine, diechecker but dumping 38 million gallons of water because a cup and a half of human urine was dumped in it ts so laughably overreacting that only a nut would consider it a rational reaction to the event. Should we dump every swimming pool in America because a kid pees in it? Of course not and why? Because the amount of urine from a kid peeing is so miniscule when when mixed with even a 38K gallon pool, that it isn't measurable much less significantly affecting the water quality.

Second, urine is a sterile liquid when it leaves the bladder, unless the person has a UTI, It may pick up some bacteria from the external parts of the genitalia but rain water has far more contaminants so should the dump the reservoir when it rains?

If they dump the contents of the reservoir a couple of times a year and this was about that time then why didn't they say that?

Lastly, the river may be a couple of miles wide but it doesn't go directly to the taps. That river water is processed and then stored in the reservoir so the cost of pumping, filtering and chemically treating 38 million gallons of river water just got flushed down the drain (pun intended) because of a pint and a half of urine. If that cost is minimal anyways, as you and slave2fate have suggested, then the water bill for the people of Portland should be pennies a year per person, no? A quick check shows that isn't the case, though, with an expected average of $50/month per household being suggested by the local real estate agents. So $600 a year per household and they dump 38 million gallons of processed water over a pint and a half of pee?

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"Oh ****, I see dust in my glass of water. Better pour it down the drain and get a new glass. [...] They did WHAT? They dumped 38 million gallons back into the Earth's ecosystem because someone peed in it? Idiots..."

:rolleyes:

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That water was pure compared with what we have, such as black mould gathering inside the taps,sometimes brown water coming out, and the kettle has to be descaled every few days because of lime, and we pay £61.00 per month water rates for this privilege.

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And if they had done nothing, the litigation mad members of society would have had a field day suing over "pee water" and claiming they've been poisoned etc by it.

This, totally this. What the people don't know doesn't hurt them but let them get wind of a pint of pee in the reservoir and heads will roll.

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This, totally this. What the people don't know doesn't hurt them but let them get wind of a pint of pee in the reservoir and heads will roll.

Then they would be lined up out the door with lawsuits now since there are all kinds of fecal matter and other crap in these open reservoirs. yes, there is always some idiot that will try and sue but I am sure case law has already been set so waste of time.

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It's all about appearance. I'd rather have someone at least attempt to care about water quality than to be like 'just drink the pee water and deal with it'. Not to mention that humans have a strong instinct to avoid our own waste so any mention of human waste in the water supply and people will go nuts. I know there are other contaminants that are as bad or worse but nobody said our instincts have to be rational.

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Second, urine is a sterile liquid when it leaves the bladder, unless the person has a UTI, It may pick up some bacteria from the external parts of the genitalia but rain water has far more contaminants so should the dump the reservoir when it rains?

The local pools don't drain when someone pees in the water, but they do ask everyone to get out, and they chemically treat the area immediately. I'd not like them just tossing chemicals into the reservoir. I guess the city thinks, "Better safe then sorry."

As to Portland itself, it is full of weirdos. The town motto is "Keep Portland Weird" after all.

This kind of thing makes the local evening news, and it is just another excuse for one group or another to march 300 people down to city hall and demand action.

Lastly, the river may be a couple of miles wide but it doesn't go directly to the taps. That river water is processed and then stored in the reservoir so the cost of pumping, filtering and chemically treating 38 million gallons of river water just got flushed down the drain (pun intended) because of a pint and a half of urine. If that cost is minimal anyways, as you and slave2fate have suggested, then the water bill for the people of Portland should be pennies a year per person, no? A quick check shows that isn't the case, though, with an expected average of $50/month per household being suggested by the local real estate agents. So $600 a year per household and they dump 38 million gallons of processed water over a pint and a half of pee?

My water bill is about $120 every two months, and about $100 dollars of that is fixed billing (taxes, taxes on the taxes, fees, fees on the fees....). The difference in my water bill between July 30 and Dec 30 (The traditional high and low usage points) is about $10. Water here is cheap, but they get you with the taxes. And it is the city that runs the water, so they are very quick to turn it off if you are even 2 weeks late on the bill.

Then they would be lined up out the door with lawsuits now since there are all kinds of fecal matter and other crap in these open reservoirs. yes, there is always some idiot that will try and sue but I am sure case law has already been set so waste of time.

I believe they have multiple cameras on the reservoir and so would know when anyone gets inside the fence or throws something over the fence.

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The local pools don't drain when someone pees in the water, but they do ask everyone to get out, and they chemically treat the area immediately. I'd not like them just tossing chemicals into the reservoir. I guess the city thinks, "Better safe then sorry."

As to Portland itself, it is full of weirdos. The town motto is "Keep Portland Weird" after all.

This kind of thing makes the local evening news, and it is just another excuse for one group or another to march 300 people down to city hall and demand action.

My water bill is about $120 every two months, and about $100 dollars of that is fixed billing (taxes, taxes on the taxes, fees, fees on the fees....). The difference in my water bill between July 30 and Dec 30 (The traditional high and low usage points) is about $10. Water here is cheap, but they get you with the taxes. And it is the city that runs the water, so they are very quick to turn it off if you are even 2 weeks late on the bill.

I believe they have multiple cameras on the reservoir and so would know when anyone gets inside the fence or throws something over the fence.

The newer cameras are in response to the terrorist threat as reservoirs are a target. I realize Portland is a bit out there but that doesn't justify this overreaction, especially when fresh water is such a hot topic world wide. When a story like this gets out and it has and the response is "We have so much water here we can waste 38 million gallons over a pint of pee." it sends a pretty messed up picture of American behavior IMHO, especially when they are running ads on TV about kids drinking out of puddles with dogs. I know one has nothing to do with the other but perceptions matter. Just sayin'.

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I'd think it would say, "We take out pure water seriously here. And there's plenty of it."

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I'd think it would say, "We take out pure water seriously here. And there's plenty of it."

It hasn't to the dozen health food junkies and liberals I told the story to and only two people here have defended it but hey, we can agree to disagree.

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It hasn't to the dozen health food junkies and liberals I told the story to and only two people here have defended it but hey, we can agree to disagree.

I don't actually mean to defend the decision, but to explain that the people who did decide are weirdos, and that to the common people here, water is not a big deal.

We have dozens of public drinking fountains scattered around the city that just continually squirt water up for people to drink, rain or shine, day or night.

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Another case of Why We Worry (About the Wrong Things)!

If we had a culture that was centered around our pee, and we had a rich history of tradition celebrating the pee, this kind of thing wouldn't happen.

Urine is good for us. It's not an accident so many skin products have urea in them. It's an excellent additive to compost to make plants grow. Urinotherapy is as old as history. Although consumers of today who are bombarded by products and services for the most trivial of things can dismiss it outright as just waste, it's loaded with nutrients that are good for our bodies. I know Nitrogen is just so scary, but it's really okay folks. If you'd rather drink a gallon of pool water with no urine in it than a gallon of your own urine with no pool water in it, let me know how that experiment turns out.

Chemically, water, like its molecular components hydrogen and oxygen, is one of the most reactive things on the planet. No matter how clear it looks in a plastic bottle or how expensive the price is on it, there's junk in it. Water is generally the most impure of substances. It wants to mix and mingle. There's veritably no such thing as pure water. But ironically purity is what people think of when they think of water. So the rebuttal might be "there could be bad stuff in the urine!" well yeah and like other fluids that are mostly water, there could be bad stuff in there too. Water needs to be properly maintained for health reasons to be fit for consumption obviously. But drinking water that's 0.000001% urine isn't a valid reason for paranoid overreaction anymore than swimming in a chlorinated swimming pool is. I'd rather drink from the 38 million gallons myself, but I'm not a bureaucrat and so I don't have all the answers.

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