back to article Bloke pissing in reservoir prompts 8m gallon flush

A young man who relieved himself in a Portland reservoir prompted the local water authority to flush 7.8 million gallons of drinking water down the toilet. The 21-year-old was spotted by officials in the early hours of last Wednesday walking with four chums close to the Mount Tabor H2O repository. While some of his pals "threw …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    LOl WTF

    Im sure animals will have peed in there at some point....

    What's the difference?

    Why dump it all?

  2. Tom_

    birds and fish

    And little tiny mammals.

  3. Jelliphiish

    taking the..

    no, i couldn't complete it.. that degree of pun should be punishable by something apt...

    I wonder what the homeopaths make of all this.. that level of dilution should make it a Very Potent Potion..

    mines the one with the flower remedy disolved in brandy in the pocket..

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Water? Thats just taking the piss

    Dont they have a system to filter and clean the water?

    What do they do about all the animals peeing in the water, not to mention dying, laying eggs etc.

    And, sod the urine, what about all the rubbish people can throw in there....

    Does this mean that they treat the water in the reservoir as drinking water without any further treatment?

    (mines the one with the bottle of Evian in the pocket..)

  5. Piro

    An open resevoir?

    Then anything could have pissed in it. I read there were dead animals in it, too.

    I'd rather drink water with a tiny concentration of piss than water that had been filtered through rotting corpses.

    A knee-jerk reaction, but I guess I understand it from a PR point of view.

    1. Liam Johnson

      Very Potent Potion

      No, no, you have it all wrong. it is not the dilution which makes it potent - it is all the shaking in between - apparently.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Very Potent Potion

        "No, no, you have it all wrong. it is not the dilution which makes it potent - it is all the shaking in between - apparently."

        And not the shaking immediately after? Still, an opportunity to sell a lifetime's supply of potions to homeopaths is wasted.

    2. ArmanX

      That's what I was thinking...

      Ok, so, we have this open body of water, where all manner of animals can climb in and take a swim, where birds can relieve themselves, and where rain falls. Dirt washes in, people throw stuff in, bugs get stuck in it, various creatures drown in it... And they're worried about urine? Really?

      And forget the PR side of things; if they hadn't flushed it, no one would have known about it. "Man pees in pond" is hardly news that travels well.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Re: An open reservoir?

      What's even more bizarre is that head honcho openly admits to finding dead birds inside the reservoir!

      "Shaff said the Water Bureau regularly finds dead animals in the same drinking supply but doesn't dump the water. "This is different," he said.

      "Do you want to drink pee?" he asked bluntly.

      When questioned about scientific data and the small amount of urine in such a large reservoir, he interjected: "Answer the question. It has nothing to do with scientifically.

      "Most people," he added, "are gonna be pretty damn squeamish about that."

    4. dssf

      Even if he stirred his sturdy, dirty waggle in the water

      It would not make for an uncomfortable concentration. But, I guess if he did it on purpose, he could say he was "reversing the meter by peter" and "selling back" some water to the utilities. "One way to pay the water bill", I suppose.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      And surely it gets treated before being piped to the home. There could be all kinds of crap in a reservoir.

      If NASA can recycle pee into drinkable water in space, I wouldn't be too worried about this.

      Although that has raised the question of etiquette among space travellers... do they share?

      1. Dropper


        Drinking water is not treated, it is monitored for bacteria and contaminants. Sewage is treated and water from treated sewage is sometimes returned to the water supply, but that's your lot. It would be too costly to treat water and it's a common misconception both in the UK and US.

        It is tested for things that would make you puke or die and they do add floride, but that's it. Of course the tiny amount of piss this guy added to the supply was irrelevant.

  6. Tony Green

    Because of course...

    ...none of the wildlife in the area has ever pissed or shat into the reservoir.

  7. LuMan


    So, the water goes straight out of the reservoir into peoples' taps (or faucets)? It doesn't get filtered or purified en route? Is the reservoir in open air? Can animals get in it? Personally I would rather drink 1 billionth dilute of a strangers p*ss than all the other animal poo, wee and assiciated 'deposits' that are more likely to be in the water.

    Looks like the local water authority are trying to make a point..... and doing a piss-poor job!

  8. Anonymous IV
    Thumb Up


    The viruses and bacteria in his urine would have been made exceptionally dangerous by such an enormous dilution!

  9. James Pickett

    What about the fish?

    Reminds me of W C Fields's objection to drinking water: "fish fuck in it".

  10. Richard Scratcher


    Urine is a none toxic substance but some of its ingredients (sodium, potassium calcium, etc.) diluted by 7.8 million gallons of water might create a whole range of rather potent homeopathic medicines.

    These might cause severe reactions if consumed by anyone who believes in that kind on nonsense.

  11. John Ruddy


    Do they flush the system when an animal pees into the reservior? Though probably not a penguin, sorry Tux!

  12. Anonymous Coward


    Presumably this was an open air reservoir that birds fly over and shit in? That fish, insects andother wildlife live and die in? That captures water running off surrounding land? Do American’s normally drink direct from that without it being cleaned first? Or is there something significantly more toxic about American pee?

    If a water company thinks that water was clean before then I wouldn't want to be their customer.

    1. Tegne

      Get your Homeopathy facts right. Homeopathy only cures!

      So I think you'll find that if they had been allowed to drink the infinitely diluted pissy water that the entire population of the town would have been immunised and/or cured of any urinary infections.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      fishs do not fuck

      The male fish squirt the semen outside of the female onto ...

      I hope the water is cleanesed after being in the reservoir

    3. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      american pee

      I think they were drinking, so if they were drinking Budweiser it'd be double-concentrated (the pee, not the "beer").

      (incidentally, oh noes... I've had American Pie running around in my brain since I woke up... this just makes it worse)

      1. Chronos Silver badge

        Re: American pee

        A long long time ago,

        I can still remember,

        When our water used to taste divine.

        And I knew if we all ran out,

        Of beer and whisky, rum and stout,

        It would be as tasty as the wine.

        But several awful Buds thereafter,

        Found me facing a disaster,

        Bladder overflowing,

        I couldn't stop from going!

        I really think I should have looked,

        For the signs that said I would be booked,

        The sheriff says I might be fucked,

        The day the water died...

        Sorry, couldn't resist ;o)

    4. Matt_V

      Beat me to it

      I was thinking the same, is it not treated on route?!

  13. Ba33


    So do they flush every time a bird craps in the water?

    If this was water that had been processed and ready to go to the consumer then I would have hoped that it wasn't quite so easy to add a foreign liquid to it.

  14. Steve Evans


    Wait until they spot birds crapping in it... And the fish, have they no shame?!!!

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Peter Simpson 1

        Chlorinated *before* the (open) reservoirs?

        Sounds to me like this muppet should lose his job. You should purify the water right before it goes into the sealed system, methinks. If it needs to sit, it should be sitting in a covered storage tank.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      What kind of "processing" do they apply to tap water, anyway?

      I'd always assumed that they check the water isn't horribly polluted by keeping fish in it, and doing a few other random tests, then add chlorine and put it down the tubes.

  15. Neil Lewis

    So, this is an open reservoir?

    Open to the air and also to whatever happens to fly over/fall into it? And this official truly believes that a single load of urine is the worst possible thing that could ever go in there? Nature really isn't all pretty flowers and cuddly wabbits and it's stretching belief to breaking point to suggest the water in there was all sparkly clean before that little extra was added to it.

    OK, so the guy probably deserves a reprimand and a fine for his thoughtlessness. The official deserves the sack for his crazily over-zealous reaction and refusal to consider the science. And the bill for the waste ought to be charged to him, since he was obviously 'responsible' for making the decision.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    "It'll kind of depend on what the surveillance video shows."

    Well thats been on the net for several days now.. Here's a video on an article from last week.. (tsk @ slow reg.)

  17. Anonymous Coward

    I this era of "terrorism" ...

    One can't be too careful.

    Ever vigilant(e).

  18. Mark Allen

    Missing part of the story

    The missing part of the story is this is not the main reservoir that was flushed - this is the water storage AFTER it has been treated and is now ready for the tap. We are only talking half a football pitch in size - not the whole reservoir plus ducks.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      Thumb Up

      @Mark Allen

      Thank you, *now* it makes sense, both from a draining it perspective and a "how the hell do you mistake a lake for a sewage works?" one.

      For some reason[1] that important piece of information was missing from every reported version I've seen so far.

      [1] Sensationalist journalism looks favourite.

    2. Maninthemoon101010

      I really don't think so....

      Water AFTER it's been purified is stored in protected tanks. With a cover. Otherwise, you can have all kinds of stuff dropping right in it: - birds poo, dead birds, rats, peeing idiots, al-Qaeda operatives with little bags of poison... you name it.

      1. John Dougald McCallum


        Apparently this water company is struggling to comply with the relevant Federal regs.

        1. Mark Allen

          and another thing...

          The boss of the reservoir on the radio also mentioned that he could have safely ignored the guy peeing in the water as it was heavily diluted. And he has already had dozens of complaints about flushing the water. But just imagine the complaints he would of had if he hadn't of flushed it.

          They are not exactly short of water in his area either.

        2. Mark Allen

          On Radio Monday Night

          The owner of the reservoir was on the radio on Monday Night talking about it. He also explained that his place is only one of 12 in the US with no roof on the processed \ clean part of the water storage. A roof is coming soon.

          But since when did facts get in the way of a good story? Even the guy interviewing him on the radio kept missing the bit about this being one (of many) processed water storage tanks and not the main reservoir along with the rest of the normal duck mess and dead animals that normal reside in there.

  19. Pete 43


    Mines a (beer) full of vitamin Pee

  20. b166er

    Wrong message

    If all it takes is one guy's urine to ruin a reservoir full of water, terrorists could have a fucking field day with a barrel of LSD. What a ridiculous reaction to this.

    Are they going to spend some money on moving the fence back a few metres/electrifying it?

    After watching that clip (AC 13:33) maybe he was a fall guy and there was a more sinister reason for flushing it.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Terrorists with barrels of LSD

      "If all it takes is one guy's urine to ruin a reservoir full of water, terrorists could have a fucking field day with a barrel of LSD. What a ridiculous reaction to this."

      Actually, they can't. LSD is a VERY fragile molecule, it's destroyed by the chlorine in tap water very, very quickly. This was determined when there was concern that just this scenario may occur with the Chicago water supply.

      So terrorists can happily poison you, or do all sorts of other nasty things, but you'll be safe from an entire town tripping their minds out.

  21. Steve 6

    "It has nothing to do with scientifically."

    'nuff said!

  22. Anonymous Coward

    While Oregon maybe a strange holiday destination

    I'm still so going once they've refilled it, filling up on the poor excuse for beer that they have, and taking a pee in the biggest flushing toilet in the world! :D

  23. Stephen Hunt

    Cost of water...

    So 8,000,000gal = $28,500.00

    Meaning that 1,000gal = $3.56

    Why are my water bills so high?

    1. Rebecca 1


      Is the value of the water before its been treated. The treatment process adds value.

    2. Hungry Sean

      please don't be ignorant

      Oregon is actually a popular tourist destination (beautiful mountains and forest, nice people, temperate climate), and also just happens to make some of the best beer in the US (on par with your Real Ale).

      Of course, assuming the entire US is Alabama is easier, isn't it?

    3. Matt Piechota


      "I'm still so going once they've refilled it, filling up on the poor excuse for beer that they have, and taking a pee in the biggest flushing toilet in the world! :D"

      You clearly haven't had Oregon beer, or frankly any of the other non-mainstream beer in the US.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      The beer here is actually tasty ---

      even if the hipsters insist on drinking PBR and horse piss. Come down for the Brewers Fest during the last full weekend of July, word is it's the closest thing you'll find like a German one on this side of the globe.

  24. Owen Sweeney

    Good old Don McLean..

    Drove my chevvy to the levy, to have a quick pee....

  25. Nigel Brown

    Opening the floodgates (sorry)

    for any eejit to pee in the water - 'for teh lulz.'

  26. Hugh Pumphrey

    Homeopathic piss: non-fatal

    Anyone interested in urine and homeopathy should check out this

    ... and indeed some of the other excellent posts on

  27. Spindreams

    employee should be sacked

    The employee should be sacked for wasting so much money and being a complete f**kwit. And the guy who pee'd should be given a meddle for outing the plonker (the idiot employee not his cock). That employee is such a f**ktard.. Man I just wanna swear when I hear crap like this.

    1. Maxson

      Don't meddle with medals

      In this wonderful world of hysteria (where some people get worked up about how long frozen food has been frozen for), the employee in my eyes was right to flush it because some people would kick up a massive fuss over there being pee in it. the guy who peed in the reservoir should probably get some sort of anti-medal like a sign that says "I am a fool who pissed into a resevoir".

    2. elderlybloke

      About sacking


      But the said employee may be able to spell.

  28. Roger Kynaston


    If a dog had peed in it we would have a bunch of reservoir dogs. I know, I know but it had to be done.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Shirly

      No it didn't. Look at the URL.

  29. Ally J

    But it's all a closed system anyway

    All the water we drink has been pee at some point in its cycle.

  30. Ru

    Easy Access?

    How on earth can someone just walk up to a reservoir of potable water and piss in it? If it can be done so trivially, I'd say the water authority in question are bordering on the criminally negligent.

    Seriously. Not one lock? Not one spiky fency? It doesn't take a whole lot to encourage someone to go relieve their bladder elsewhere; they're usually in a hurry.

  31. Jim 59


    This is the most completely insane El Reg story ever. Is it for real ?

  32. Bill Fresher


    Well that's 12 olympic swimming pools that can't be filled.

    What a selfish young man.

  33. This post has been deleted by its author

  34. Graham Bartlett

    @Mark Allen

    "this is the water storage AFTER it has been treated and is now ready for the tap."

    This only makes it worse. Are Portlanders so dumb that they treat their drinking water and then put it into *another* open-to-the-elements reservoir, on the grounds of "the ducks have their own reservoir already so they're not going to come over here"? How inbred would you have to be to come up with that stroke of genius?

    Actually the problem isn't the ducks, it's the rats. Or more specifically it's the Weil's Disease carried in their urine. If this is really how Portland's water supply works, they're long overdue for a massive outbreak.

  35. G R Goslin

    A thought

    Obviously they don't have public swimming pools in the US

    1. LateNightLarry


      Sure they can... as long as they're in Los Angeles, and DPW siphons the water from Northern California... During the Northern California drought in 1991, there were pictures in the papers of Angelenos filling their newly installed swimming pools with water legally stolen from the San Francisco Bay Area's water supply, while people in the Bay Area were having to ration water or face massive fines... No swimming pools being filled in NoCal, just in SoCal.

      Beer, 'cause I need one after seeing all that water wasted.

  36. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Bears can't even s**t in the woods

    All the forest that is part of the watershed here is fenced off - in case somebody pees against a tree.

    It's full of bears of course - who presumably don't do it in the woods

  37. me n u

    I'm thirsty

    Anyone for pee tea? You Brits love tea so much, shirley a little extra "something" will be appreciated?

    I don't care much about what public water treatments do with the water, cause I use a reverse osmosis treatment at home and bring my own water to work with me. It's polluted throughout almost all of the world now.

  38. Anonymous Coward

    In other news

    Bear Grylls spotted in the Portland area.

  39. Chad H.

    Lets look at the figures

    Your average person pees 1-2l per day, so lets presume for arguments sake that he was holding it in and did the full 2l. 2l into Goog says 7.8gallons is just over 35l, so 2l into 35 Million litres means that this water still probably had more crap in it than your average homeopathic "cure".

    Homeopathy: In case of overdose, consult a lifeguard.

  40. Zippy the Pinhead

    Wow.. stupidity in action

    Urine is sterile

    My guess is they also allow fishing, so birds, fish, and other animals poop and pee in it.

    Animals die in it

    Dust and dirt falls in it

    Bacteria and other nasties grow in it

    The water has to be treated anyhow!

  41. lotus49

    Urine is sterile

    The urine of someone who does not have an infectious disease is sterile. It's completely harmless. You could safely wash a wound with urine. This was presumably done solely for publicity reasons.

    To all of you commenting about open reservoirs. They are everywhere in the UK at least. Those of you who live in London may not be as familiar with the sight but elsewhere, most reservoirs of water that is ready to be piped straight to the tap are open to the elements. I know where the reservoir is that feeds my taps. There is little to stop any number of animals (human or otherwise) pissing into my tap water and I have somehow survived so far.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Makes no sense

      "This was presumably done solely for publicity reasons."

      That makes no sense. If the water company hadn't drained the reservoir the incident wouldn't have made the news. So unless they wanted bad publicity they didn't do this for publicity reasons.

      If they did this purely for PR reasons then that would suggest the knew they didn't really need to do it. And if they knew they didn't really need to do it then they knew they would look stupid if they did it. From the stance this guy took I would say it's likely he's the guy who took the decision and that he's sick of hearing what an idiot he is from his colleagues already.

      Why does this remind me of the pilot episode of Due South only sort of in reverse?

  42. Nick Kew Silver badge


    Now we know how to bring devastation on the Great Satan. Liquid bombs.

    Pee squad, get to work with those water supplies!

  43. the spectacularly refined chap

    It not just while it's IN the reservoir

    It's also the trip it made to get there. Or are American fields guaranteed to be free of manure and cowpats?

  44. Anonymous Coward

    I Apologise...

    ...I pissed in my back garden the other week and so it will have entered the water table in South East England.

  45. Zippy the Pinhead

    legal action may follow

    No legal action SHOULD follow.. the stupid manager of the site should be fired and then fined the cost of his actions up to and including any and all legal fees of the poor dude who just wanted to take a wizz.

  46. Anonymous Coward

    Why couldn't they...

    Pump the water back into the pre-treatment part of the resevoir if they were that worried?

    Manager is probably seriously OCD or something.

  47. Benedict

    title goes here

    Bear Grylls wouldn't have minded

  48. Mat

    Who would wanna drink piss??

    Bear Grylls anyone?

  49. kain preacher Silver badge

    PR+ stupidity

    It was filmed and put on you tube. There were afraid of some fuck nut group suing them. See hear about birds pooping vs seeing a man pee in the river might sway bottom feeder to sue.

  50. Anonymous Coward


    I remember that I once peed in the ocean. Ohoh! Why do I sense a rather huge water disposal bill coming?

  51. Martin Lyne


    Urine is sterile too. The comedy.

  52. Arbuthnot Darjeeling

    is this another sign

    of the decline and fall of the u s of a into barbarous ignorance?

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    i think

    whats important here is yeah, its stupid, id be more worried about the "crap" that comes out of your toilet when you flush it, and yes it does before you ask, all be it only very small amounts.

    anyhow, we cant have people peeing in the water no matter what, flushing it is stupid, wouldnt a public disorder fine been enough to discourage him from doing it again and thus also making an example out of him, or a fine and some community service like fishing all the dead animals out of the water...

    just seems totally mad, especially in this day where we are all skint that they would do that, and you can bet your arse the general public will end up paying for it in the end anyway.

  54. Johan Bastiaansen


    The guy is an administrator. What did you expect?

    All water on this world has been peed. Some of it more than once.

  55. raving angry loony


    What's missing is the fact that they clean out the reservoir once a year, and when they drain it they find cans of paint, dead animals, even dog faeces bags that have been discarded into this open pool of supposedly potable water. Not to mention that every single animal or bird passing by has shit or pissed in the water already.

    I guess it really is a case of what they don't know won't hurt them. Or at least won't cost them thousands in unnecessary wastage of potable(?) water.

  56. Jon B

    But in London everyone drinks pee

    The water in London was recycled an average of 5 times - is that still true?

    1. LateNightLarry


      According to the latest requirements from US EPA, the water discharged from sewer treatment plants AFTER treatment is generally cleaner than the water in the rivers it's discharged into... And any water treatment plant authorized in the last 15-20 years has filters that remove any detritus before the incoming water is treated. Most of the reservoirs in California are closed systems, treated water coming in from the plant, a covered storage tank, and transferred to the distribution system without being exposed to open air until it comes out the tap... Oregon appears to be a little behind the times.

      1. Degenerate Scumbag

        More Than a Little Behind the Times.

        As an industry professional, I find the idea that Oregon has open potable water storage in 2011 absolutely mind boggling. We covered our service reservoirs over a century ago. You should see the regulations we have to abide by over here with regard to securing the vents and access hatches, but the yanks are still happy to let animals piss and shit in it?!?!?!?

    2. Degenerate Scumbag

      Urban myth, never true.

      About 75% of the water in London comes from the Thames upstream of Teddington. The Rest comes from the river Lea and well/borehole sites. London's treated Sewage effluent is discharged into the Thames at Twickenham, Beckton, Crossness, Long Reach and Riverside STWs, all of which are downstream of the abstraction points.

      Some amount of effluent is discharged by smaller STWs far upstream on the Thames and Lea, but it's extensively treated and heavily diluted in the river flow (which of course is also open to contamination from all the usual environmental sources). The discharged effluent is generally cleaner than the river water. But anyway, unless you're counting evaporation and precipitation (in which case who knows), the idea that it goes around many times is complete myth - it goes through once then out to sea.

  57. Sir Barry


    Sorry everyone, I'm an Environnmental Administrator and I was just doing my bit, you know, recycling?

    Just like renewable energy, returning electricity to the grid, i was just doing the same for water....

  58. Anonymous Coward


    Another one of those stories that lets the rest of the world laugh at the septics for being dumb hicks. Even the ones in charge of large corporations.

    Fun isn't it?

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rolf Harris

    "Do you want to drink pee?"

    I've heard Rolf does.

  60. dssf

    Sounds like those officials have a fear the lad may be a ....

    Romero Zombie...

    Or, reading too much into the CDC officer's suggestions for dealing with zombies...(an asside: The official way in movies is to shoot them in the brain. I say, do it with flair: shove a burning road flare up their... "there" for some ignoble ignition...

    It'll scramble their eggs...put them into eggstinkshun)

    But, really, what is "different" about a human pissing salts and inert chems into the reservoir when birds, bird tar, and aminal fur and more can be found in the water?

  61. Anonymous Coward

    From Michael Moore's Stupid White Men

    New York’s water supply … is collected and stored in twenty-two open-air reservoirs in the Catskills…

    an acquaintance remarked … how wonderful it is to boat on the reservoir.

    “Boat?” I cried. “You’re boating in my drinking water?”

    That was when the cases of Evian began entering my apartment

    ---- Don't misunderstand me, I like Mike but I know I have to do a fair bit of fact checking to get the real truth from his works. That said, this particular passage highlighted for me the stupidity that can be found contained within an alarming percentage of the American population.

    In some parts of Africa they'd kill to have drinking water from a reservoir with a miniscule amount of pee in. Are we so spoilt and precious in the developed world that our drinking water has to be 100% sterile? Christ' sake, even some of the most pure water available (glaciers etc.) in the world will have trace levels of contaminants in.

    The human body is quite robust you know, its' had hundreds of thousands of years to get that way. A little pee isn't going to kill you.

    Sorry America, you've got some really good things in your country that I'll stand up for, but you do seem to have more than your fair share of the world's r tards.

    1. Goat Jam

      He pissed in the water?

      Like the stuff, you know, in the toilet?

  62. Tom 35 Silver badge

    "Do you want to drink pee?" he asked bluntly.

    I'll take a bit of pee over dead bird tea.

  63. Stuart Duel

    Treated water in an OPEN reservoir?

    Are they completely nuts? What is this, the third world?

    Note to self: Do NOT touch the tap water if I ever visit Portland.

  64. Stephen Gray

    This happened in the US of A right?

    Then I simply don't care. This is a tech site based in the UK. That is all.

  65. Anteaus


    Was just thinking that if pubs installed NASA fluid recycling technology, that would save an awful lot of carbon emissions transporting beer. They could even reclaim the alcohol, saving the need to brew more.

    Besides, what goes in already looks pretty-much the same as what goes out, so no cosmetic issues.

  66. rc
    Paris Hilton

    El Reg FTW!

    Thanks Reg. This story has been all over the place up here in the pacific northwest (WA-US). Your version is the best by far.

    @Gang... The water from open reservoirs typically gets filtered and treated further down the line, closer to the consumer. Our water in the pnw is actually quite good and we have a lot of it because it rains often. Never mind the drunk pee, insects, dead birds, and animals that take a dump the size of your head in it. It adds flavor.

    @Oregon... -snicker- Expectations remain low.

    Paris, because Portland needs a smarter water administrator...

  67. Graham Bartlett


    "A little pee isn't going to kill you."

    Unless it happens to be pee from a rat. In which case you have a moderate risk of Weil's Disease, which itself has a moderate risk of death. (Higher than moderate if you're truly incautious about hygiene; there are hypotheses that Weil's Disease spreading amongst rats wiped out a lot of the Indian tribes on the east coast of America.)

  68. Jim 59


    A quick calculation shows the reservoir would be about 30 metres by 30 metres, assuming it were square and 50 metres deep. Big, but not exactly Lake Huron.

  69. Dave Cheetham

    I'm sticking to beer

    Piss in a resevoir I can tolerate, but all this talk of dead animals, birds that crap in it and fish that procreate... I will never drink water again. The PR exercise has backfired and I may have to sue for damage to my liver from only drinking alcohol now!

  70. Naughtyhorse


    ah the master race.


  71. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Did the officials explain how they ensured that all of the urine was purged from the reservoir, including from its walls? Was a clean up specialist employed on the job? What anti microbial techniques were employed?

  72. Slay

    Er...wait a minute..

    Where are they dumping it into? Chances are it will end up right back where it started in a few days...

    We have been drinking recycled water for billions of years. Get over it.

  73. RockBurner

    regardless of the morals...

    if 7.8million gallons of water only costs $28,500, why is my water bill so freakin high??

  74. Big Al

    @AC 0134

    "Sorry America, you've got some really good things in your country that I'll stand up for"

    Ah, so you're a male AC then?

  75. 2cent

    Get the results you expect?

    When the top guy answers a question like "Do you want to drink pee?" with a none science (or should I say nonsense) answer like this, does he read his own data on water purity?

    Bureau administrator, David Shaff should have also replied, "I didn't get my coffee this morning, It was a full moon last night and all that science I am supposed to use in my job is hog-wash.".

    The public will eat the bill, but this guy aught to know better.

    Good science helps the public, bad or illogical answer create FUD.

    Perhaps Poseidon will bring cause great harm to "young man who relieved himself".

  76. PortlandResident

    Portland Resident Says This is All Political Theater

    I live in Portland and the story is more complicated.

    Shaff (head of water bureau) is doing PR to bolster support for covering the in-town reservoirs. This is pure political theater. He is intentionally trying to freak people out because he knows there are people who oppose covering the reservoirs. There is opposition because for over 100 years this system has worked beautifully, and continues to be safe. But monied interests prefer big construction projects.

    Read more about it here:

    1. Degenerate Scumbag


      Only in America could people think that covering potable water reservoirs, like developed nations have been sensibly doing for the past 150 years, is some sort of big-government conspiracy.

      1. dssf

        Hmmm... if the tarps or covers are non-transparent

        Then one could imagine a lot of bodies in those reservoirs... by hand of Nature and by hand of mobs...

  77. Qu Dawei

    And all the rest...

    Along with the dead animals in the water, the fish faeces, the animal dung and urine, this does seem to go way too far. If they were really consistent, they should all be dead from holding their breaths by now, because each lungful of air contains gases from farts and so on; it has had gases from rotting corpses passed into it, and we are re-breathing other people's dying breaths and so on.

    I am reminded of a WC Fields comment on why he would never drink water: "Fish fuck in it."

    Truly ludicrous decision to throw away the water, yet it is symptomatic of waste in the USA for trivial reasons.

  78. Tieger

    wrong headline?

    shouldnt the headline really be 'idiotic resevoir manager wastes over $30000 of taxpayers money'?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Still Wrong

      It should read "Idiotic public health laws drain public purse."

      If, like most of the developed world, public health laws required that reservoirs of potatble water were covered this would never have been an issue. Remember this is the nation that thinks it leads the world and they have public health problems like this. Words (almost) fail me.

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