Im sure animals will have peed in there at some point....
What's the difference?
Why dump it all?
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 …
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..)
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.
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."
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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,
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)
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.
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 that important piece of information was missing from every reported version I've seen so far.
 Sensationalist journalism looks favourite.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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?
"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.
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.
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".
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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?
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.
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.
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.
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?!?!?!?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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...
"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.)
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".
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: http://www.friendsofreservoirs.org/news.html
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.
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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