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Why Portland Should Have Kept Its Water, Urine and All

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the except-for-homeopathy dept.

Crime 332

Ars Technica has nothing good to say about the scientific understanding (or at least public understanding) that led Portland to drain 38 million gallons of water after a teenage prankster urinated into the city's water supply. Maybe SCADA systems shouldn't be quite as high on the list of dangers, when major utilities can be quite this brittle even without a high-skill attack.

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Frosty piss (4, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 7 months ago | (#46801319)

literally.

first pist (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801327)

ooh ahh

just like homeopathy (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801333)

Urine gets stronger the more you dilute it.
The uncomfortable truth is that all the water has pee in it.

Re:just like homeopathy (4, Informative)

Arker (91948) | about 7 months ago | (#46801387)

"The uncomfortable truth is that all the water has pee in it."

Water is filthy, fish have sex in it.

Re:just like homeopathy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801421)

Water is filthy, fish have sex in it.

I think they just limit themselves to bukaku.

Re:just like homeopathy (2)

meerling (1487879) | about 7 months ago | (#46801835)

Don't forget all the bird poop.

Re:just like homeopathy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801705)

I think that was the fear. Since like cure like, drinking piss cures urination. The city of Portland is just trying to keep its sewage treatment plant workers off the unemployment line

Ever glass of tap water in LA. (4, Informative)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 7 months ago | (#46801341)

Every glass of tap water in LA contains a few molecules of water that have, relatively recently, passed through my bladder.

The only people that don't have someone 'upriver', drink cattle urine instead.

One exception, well water, usually nasty tasting. Plus the joys of insufficient septic system setback.

Re:Ever glass of tap water in LA. (4, Funny)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 7 months ago | (#46801665)

Don't tell the homoeopaths.

The fuck?! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801347)

David Shaff obviously has a thing for watersports. It takes a Republican level of personal denial to drain 38 million gallons just to avoid drinking a little bit of pee.

Re:The fuck?! (4, Informative)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 7 months ago | (#46801425)

David Shaff obviously has a thing for watersports. It takes a Republican level of personal denial to drain 38 million gallons just to avoid drinking a little bit of pee.

Mr. Shaff began working for the City in 1978. He worked for the first 25 years in the Bureau of Human Resources, primarily in Labor Relations. While working in Labor Relations, Mr. Shaff was responsible for negotiating each of the City's collective bargaining agreements multiple times and ended his tenure there as the City's Labor Relations Manager in 2003.

Funny; sounds more like a "Progressive" ...

Re:The fuck?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801489)

A better question is why does this region of liberals have a history of peeing in their own water supply.

Re:The fuck?! (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 7 months ago | (#46801627)

Same stupid off topic post in every thread. What a moron.

Re:The fuck?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801767)

Don't be an idiot. Republicans don't drain reservoirs over pee, they drain them over fluoride.

how many animals do their thing in it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801355)

im willing to bet the bottom of that thing has a nice big layer of bird poop at the very least.

Well they are elected (4, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 7 months ago | (#46801361)

Ignorant voters will fire anyone who is a member of the water board/district if it discovered they allowed piss to enter their facets.

Unlike the corrupt state and federal governments the local ones actually listen to their constituents.

Guard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801367)

Hire a top-class guard person to that area immediately. If you really can pee into the water supply, you could easily poison it too.

Re:Guard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801589)

I think you would need a lot of poison? I'm not gonna do the math, but I don't think the amount you would need to poison a 38 million gallon resivor would be able to be carried by hand.

Re:Guard (2, Insightful)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 7 months ago | (#46801595)

... and just like urine in the water, it would take a lot of poison to have any impact on the supply.

Viruses or bacteria that are chlorine resistant, on the other hand, could be a nasty problem.

Re:Guard (1)

ArmoredDragon (3450605) | about 7 months ago | (#46801961)

Urine doesn't contain any of the above unless the person has a bladder infection. Your kidneys are pretty good at removing those from your urine for this exact reason (avoiding bladder infections.)

Re:Guard (5, Insightful)

tragedy (27079) | about 7 months ago | (#46801765)

"Easily" poison 38 million gallons of water? See, this is exactly the same problem from the original article. A typical person drinks a lot less than 1 liter of water at a time, but we'll be generous to your poisoning idea and base our required dose of poison on 1 liter of water. Probably the most deadly known poison by unit mass is Batrachotoxin. In order to poison 38 million gallons of water so that every liter contains a fatal dose, you would need about 15 tons of it. 15 tons of poison produced by a particular species of frog, and then only when they eat a particular species of beetle, is pretty hard to come by. If you went with something more generally available, such as some form of cyanide, you'd need about 228 tons.

So, your plan to poison the water supply is dastardly, evil, possibly even insidious... but not remotely practical. Sure, you could do it, but the expense would be high and the effictiveness would be relatively low since the water can be shut off centrally. You'd have a lot more luck just getting your henchmen to go on a rampage through the main street with conventional weapons.

Re:Guard (2)

sjames (1099) | about 7 months ago | (#46802173)

And then there's trying to get away with it. If one teenager peeing was enough to set off the alarms and get the reservoir drained, I'm pretty sure a fleet of dump trucks would be noticed.

Re:Guard (5, Insightful)

gyepi (891047) | about 7 months ago | (#46802275)

Your calculation is way off, only 14kg of Batrachotoxin would be needed to render 38m gallon of water lethal, not 15 tons. One can carry that much in a backpack, not to mention that this is for doses that are lethal to everyone (if evenly distributed); much less would be sufficient to cause serious health issues for the majority who drinks from it.

(According to wikipedia sources 100 microgram of Batrachotoxin is lethal for a 68kg person. 100 microgram in every liter of 144,000,000 l (=38m gallon) of water requires 144,000,000*100microgram = 14.4 kg poison.)

This is of course not a justification for draining this amount of water from the pool every time the pool is micturated upon in the fair city of Portland.

Re:Guard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46802303)

What about a few pounds of peanut? You're bound to kill a few people, and isn't one enough to spread fear and panic? Just look at what a bit of harmless piss has accomplished.

And yet birds die in it... (5, Interesting)

MindPrison (864299) | about 7 months ago | (#46801371)

...all the time. It's all psychology, it's human urine - therefor it is oh so terrible. Think of all the bird-droppings, huge flocks of birds flying by...doing their thing. They carry far more diseases with them than we dare to even think of, never-mind mention in the news. But human urine? Yuck ;)

Re:And yet birds die in it... (3)

gtall (79522) | about 7 months ago | (#46801625)

Who's worried about the birds, it's the bears I worry about. Ever see one of them piss? Niagara Falls would blush. And they are pissing in our reservoirs.

Re:And yet birds die in it... (1)

kumanopuusan (698669) | about 7 months ago | (#46802219)

I looked it up and this Grizzly piss is far from impressive:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

Don't tell them that... (5, Insightful)

silviuc (676999) | about 7 months ago | (#46801373)

Fish crap in their drink along with frogs, birds and who knows what else. They have water treatment plants to make it drinkable, how the fuck do these morons get into such high positions?

Re:Don't tell them that... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801469)

Actually, Portland doesnt treat its water after this resivour. This doesnt imply that I agree with their decision.

Re:Don't tell them that... (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 7 months ago | (#46801503)

Actually, Portland doesnt treat its water after this resivour. This doesnt imply that I agree with their decision.

In other words... the water already has enough chemicals in it that nothing will grow.

They still gotta do something to keep the turbidity down, from dirty in the reservoir... however....

Re:Don't tell them that... (4, Funny)

drolli (522659) | about 7 months ago | (#46801723)

Better nuke the reservoir form orbit, the only way to be sure.

Re:Don't tell them that... (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 7 months ago | (#46802201)

Changing that plan a bit... maybe with a little less mass murder...

Putting spent nuclear fuel in such a tank could kill many of the microorganisms and make the water safer for consumption.

Re:Don't tell them that... (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 7 months ago | (#46802217)

(You know, ignoring the radioactivity of all the corroded stuff that might be in the water... meh, run it through a Brita, it'll be alright.)

Re:Don't tell them that... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801871)

Fish crap in their drink along with frogs, birds and who knows what else. They have water treatment plants to make it drinkable, how the fuck do these morons get into such high positions?

We don't filter the water. We have an EPA waiver not to have to filter our water. Only one in the country, since the water up in the Bull Run Watershed is so pristine (no human activity allowed in the entire watershed area, over a hundred square miles, 1/3 of the water is supplied by dew drip off of fir trees). Our water comes from the source much cleaner than would come out of the filtration systems used in other cities.

Re:Don't tell them that... (1)

AaronW (33736) | about 7 months ago | (#46802197)

Do they ban bears, birds, deer, etc? Just because there's no humans doesn't mean that there isn't poop and stuff in the water. Also, what about fish? I'm sure that the fish poop and have sex in the water.

Re:Don't tell them that... (5, Informative)

Solandri (704621) | about 7 months ago | (#46802213)

We don't filter the water. We have an EPA waiver not to have to filter our water. Only one in the country, since the water up in the Bull Run Watershed is so pristine (no human activity allowed in the entire watershed area, over a hundred square miles, 1/3 of the water is supplied by dew drip off of fir trees).

That doesn't change the fact that fish, birds, frogs, etc crap in the water. This whole thing is the same reason a lot of people believe in homeopathy - the idea that extremely diluted quantities of a beneficial substance still carry the same benefits. Homeopathy is basically the converse of the disgust reaction we have to inconsequentially miniscule contamination - the idea that extremely diluted quantities of a harmful substance still carry the same harm. The ISS has one of the most sophisticated water reclamation systems ever made, whose filtration provides cleaner water than what you get out of the tap. But people are still "grossed out" over the fact that astronauts are effectively drinking their own pee. Out of sight, out of mind.

The environment is dirty, and our bodies are fully capable of surviving with that dirt. This incessant demand for absolute cleanliness is probably the cause of the rapid increase in allergy rates. The prevailing theory is that allergies are result of over-cleanliness. Our immune systems are supposed to gradually build up resistance and tolerance to all sorts of pathogens and contaminants. But our modern, ultra-clean standard of living deprives our immune systems of gradual exposure to those substances. Then when we encounter it for the first time, our body goes nuts and overreacts, causing an allergic reaction.

Our water comes from the source much cleaner than would come out of the filtration systems used in other cities.

The cleanest water you can get is distilled. You slowly raise the temperature to boil off contaminants with a boiling point lower than water. At the boiling point of water you're getting pure H2O. The residual is everything with a boiling point higher than water. While it's absolutely clean, it's actually bad for you because it lacks minerals and salts your body needs, and the lack of dissolved content means metal from the pipes carrying it leech into it at an accelerated rate. So it's instead packaged in plastic or glass bottles and sold in stores. Rainwater is effectively distilled, except it picks up a lot of contaminants as it floats through the air, then falls down to the ground.

The next cleanest you can get is reverse osmosis filtered. The pores in the filters are so small that nearly all contaminants are removed. Like distilled water, it's actually too pure. They have to add minerals and salts back into it for health and taste reasons. While it's too expensive to use for most municipal water supplies, a few cities on islands or in extremely dry regions do use them to provide tap water.

Then come the spring waters, which are naturally filtered through miles of sand and rock.

They're just avoiding liability (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801381)

The most important line in the article is the very last:

The reservoir will reportedly cost $35,000 to clean

$35k is nothing when compared to even the lawyer fees of a single potential frivolous lawsuit over this. All it would take is one kid getting sick (likely for completely unrelated reasons). And then they'd have to start publicly defending the decision to not clean it. I'm not saying the cleaning is the practical choice. Just that the absurdity of the U.S. legal system makes it fiscally irresponsible for the city to do anything else.

Re:They're just avoiding liability (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 7 months ago | (#46801579)

Frivoulous lawsuits are yet another problem too.

Re:They're just avoiding liability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801637)

The most important line in the article is the very last:

The reservoir will reportedly cost $35,000 to clean

$35k is nothing when compared to even the lawyer fees of a single potential frivolous lawsuit over this.

How much would a judge charge to say "Don't be so fucking stupid. Case dismissed with prejudice."?

Re:They're just avoiding liability (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801697)

1. kid said he never actually pee'd in the water, hit a wall before that...
2. the amount is so miniscule, it makes homeopathy look dense...
3. urine is essentially sanitary...
4. people are 'tards...
5. i would like to pee on people MORE as a result of this story and the reactions...

Re:They're just avoiding liability (4, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 7 months ago | (#46801979)

Obviously, the government is covering something up . . .

. . . maybe the guy dumped a oil drum full of pure LSD into the water, before pausing to take a leak. The authorities are not mentioning the LSD to avoid panicking the public. You don't want to panic the public, while they are tripping their balls off.

. . . or they spotted the Loch Ness Monster, and are draining the reservoir, to catch it in the shallows.

. . . or maybe the guy showed signs of being a zombie, and they need to wait to see if he morphs into one.

Ya gotta try to see through the headlines these days . . . the government is out to stuff you with disinformation . . . and they're always up to something not good . . .

If you're in Portland, I would suggest just drinking pure grain alcohol . . .

Sovereign Immunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46802067)

You can't sue the government unless you have its permission. Unless there is a law that permits you to raise doubt about the city's water quality in court, that's a non-issue.

36 million gallons? (1)

AxeTheMax (1163705) | about 7 months ago | (#46801383)

What's that in something understandable? Like how many Olympic size swimming pools or Pacific Oceans?

Re:36 million gallons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801415)

Something like 3,500 backyard pools

Re:36 million gallons? (2)

CBravo (35450) | about 7 months ago | (#46801419)

or libraries of congress, or liters

Re:36 million gallons? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801451)

Oh, come on. Noone uses esoteric units of measurements like "liters"

Re:36 million gallons? (1)

Kaenneth (82978) | about 7 months ago | (#46801527)

rough estimate, about 60 times the volume of the 3 main Library of Congress buildings combined

Re:36 million gallons? (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 7 months ago | (#46801757)

rough estimate, about 60 times the volume of the 3 main Library of Congress buildings combined

36 million gallons is about 140 million liters, or 140,000 m^3. 1/60th of that is about 2000 m^3.

Are the three main Library of Congress buildings really as small as 700 m^2 (call it 7000 square feet) combined? Or did you drop a decimal somewhere?

Re:36 million gallons? (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 7 months ago | (#46802079)

Definitely. The first floor of the building I work in is 10,000. The government never builds anything that small.

Re:36 million gallons? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801459)

I know you might be joking, but it's about 100 acre-feet, which is roughly the annual usage of 100 households. Portland has 250,000 households so we are talking about 4 hours' worth of water for the city of Portland.

That is part of the reason they are so willing to dump the water. If it were 10,000 acre-feet they would certainly not be dumping it.

Re:36 million gallons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801575)

You should get your army new boots if there's that many achey feet...

Re:36 million gallons? (2)

olau (314197) | about 7 months ago | (#46801691)

Are you sure you got the calculations right? You seem to be a factor ten off. According to Google, 36 million gallons are about 136,000 m^3, which with a typical (Danish) household annual water usage is around 1000 households.

Re:36 million gallons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46802011)

Yeah, I got them right, although now that I look up Portland's water usage (PDF) [portlandoregon.gov] it turns out they are pretty good at conserving water, so I was off by a factor of 2. I would have been accurate in most American cities.

First of all, the estimate I used includes businesses (i.e. if you want to know how much water a city uses you can estimate that it is about an acre-foot per household per year, even though some of this isn't used by the households). Second, unfortunately, Americans just use a lot more water. (Lawns, etc.)

Re:36 million gallons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801493)

36 million gallons of milk.

Re:36 million gallons? (2)

mapinguari (110030) | about 7 months ago | (#46801513)

About 0.0000000000002 Pacific Oceans.
Hope that helps.

Re:36 million gallons? (3, Informative)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 7 months ago | (#46801695)

1,505,144.03 cubic cubits. 57.575 nominal volume "Olympic size" swimming pools. 4,750,000 bushels. 25,313,380 imperial pints. 0.00000000000020300 Pacific Oceans. I hope that clarifies things. :)

Budweiser trucks seen nearby (5, Funny)

BlazingATrail (3112385) | about 7 months ago | (#46801411)

Budweiser sent trucks to take some of the piss water away to make American style beer

Re:Budweiser trucks seen nearby (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801487)

Ladys a gents, What we have here is Pißwasser

Rockstar, Buddwiser, And the City of Portland are proud to present Pißwasser.
Every one loves American Beer, Video Games, America.
Now you Can Drink the Beer that embodies every thing that is American.
Look for it in your local stores everywhere, For the low low price of $19.99 a 6 pack.

Re:Budweiser trucks seen nearby (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 7 months ago | (#46801843)

Nah, that's too thin, even by Budweiser standards. Maybe for Bud DietXTRAlite(tm).

ambient bird pollution (1)

peter303 (12292) | about 7 months ago | (#46801431)

I suspect the ambient daily bird and other critter droppings in the reservoir per day exceed what these stupid kids did. 38M gallons will dliute it all safely. only idiot public officials would worry about a miscule harm.

Lanted Ale.. (5, Interesting)

malkavian (9512) | about 7 months ago | (#46801433)

Back in the "old days" (medieval), Beer was preserved by adding Lant, to give Lanted Ale.
Lant is stale urine, and it acted as a marvelous preservative. So, adding urine in this fashion to that volume won't be a problem. It's just one of perception..

Discussed to death on Bruce Schneier's blog... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801443)

Discussed to death on Bruce Schneier's blog. [schneier.com] Long story short: The draining is part of a political fight between two groups who want to control and monetize the water supply. All in a city of nuts who, in this day and age, drink untreated water direct from uncovered reservoirs and streams. A lot of things to worry and wonder about there...

Re:Discussed to death on Bruce Schneier's blog... (4, Informative)

mbone (558574) | about 7 months ago | (#46801745)

Ah, astroturf [waterreform.org] . That makes things a lot clearer [oregonlive.com] .

The biggest user of water in Portland is also the largest financial backer of a May ballot measure to strip utility rate-setting responsibility from the Portland City Council.

Re:Discussed to death on Bruce Schneier's blog... (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | about 7 months ago | (#46802007)

New York City water is untreated and it has some of the best water in the country.

Purity of Essence (4, Funny)

Noughmad (1044096) | about 7 months ago | (#46801461)

Do you realize that in addition to urinating in water, why, there are studies underway to urinate in salt, flour, fruit juices, soup, sugar, milk... ice cream. Ice cream, Mandrake, children's ice cream.

How does Ars feel about (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801505)

Using real units of measure?

A little ditty (2)

The123king (2395060) | about 7 months ago | (#46801507)

Here i sit
In awe and wonder
Would chaff drain a lake
For a bit of chunder

For the amount
The kid did pee
Is in the reals of
Homeopathy

But doesn't chaff know
Fish and birds
Will fill the lake
With piss and turds

Why didnt they just call it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801519)

American beer?

Its Fucking close to water anyways.

Perhaps it was because the prankster was the son, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801551)

of a homeopath, and the dilution only makes his pee taste stronger.

It's not organic. (3, Funny)

JustShootMe (122551) | about 7 months ago | (#46801553)

I live in Portland. They'd probably allow it if he was a free-range drunkard with organic piss.

Not Uncommon for Portland (5, Interesting)

windwalker13th (954412) | about 7 months ago | (#46801593)

This is not the first time that Portland has emptied a reservoir. This is the only time that it has made national news. One of the times that they drained the reservoir was for when somebody was attempting to pee in it and it was unclear if the intoxicated individual had actually urinated into the reservoir.

The reservoirs in Portland are a bit of a contentious subject. We Portlanders greatly appreciate our open air reservoirs however the City Water Bureau does not. Despite a large public outcry to keep our open air reservoirs our water department despite saying that they were working to keep our reservoirs, did not file for a waiver from the department of homeland security to keep the reservoirs open air. While most Portlanders recognize the importance of controlling access to our water supply we wish that the water department listened to public comment more and acted less like a dictator.

Re:Not Uncommon for Portland (1)

JustShootMe (122551) | about 7 months ago | (#46801619)

I think there are some rare cases where public opinion is wrong, and this would be one of them. I also think this is a horribly passive-aggressive way of doing it. If you feel that strongly, just set in motion the process of capping them, and if it fails, well, you tried.

I keep thinking of places down south who need all the water they can get, and we're just wasting a whole reservoir full. That saddens me.

(I live in Portland, but I'm in the Tualatin Valley water district, so it doesn't affect me much.)

Re:Not Uncommon for Portland (2)

windwalker13th (954412) | about 7 months ago | (#46801707)

I don't remember the exact details and I can't find the articles on the stupid website of the Oregonian but basically the process was sleazy. There was something about the way they awarded the contracts for the caping was inappropriate. The issue that I think pissed off the people trying to keep the reservoirs uncovered was that the Portland Water Bureau didn't bother filing the paperwork for an exemption from the Department of Homeland Security which then forced the City of Portland to cap/discontinue use of the open air reservoirs. Rochester NY which has the same kind of open air reservoirs applied for and was granted exemptions to keep their open air reservoirs. Yet in Portland despite the outcry to keep the reservoirs uncovered, didn't bother filing the paperwork to keep that option open.

Re:Not Uncommon for Portland (1)

Teun (17872) | about 7 months ago | (#46801721)

I agree, these reservoir should be covered because these piss artists need some privacy.

Especially in a country that hides toilets and WC's behind doors marked Restroom, Ladies and Gents or even Powder Room.

Re:Not Uncommon for Portland (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 7 months ago | (#46801775)

I keep thinking of places down south who need all the water they can get, and we're just wasting a whole reservoir full. That saddens me.

To put it in perspective, this is about two minutes worth of water use by the State of California. It's a long way from a significant amount.

Re:Not Uncommon for Portland (2)

Valdrax (32670) | about 7 months ago | (#46802163)

We Portlanders greatly appreciate our open air reservoirs however the City Water Bureau does not. Despite a large public outcry to keep our open air reservoirs our water department despite saying that they were working to keep our reservoirs, did not file for a waiver from the department of homeland security to keep the reservoirs open air.

What the hell... WHY?

I used to live in Portland for about three years and regularly drank the tap water The idea that I was drinking water straight from an open-air reservoir post-treatment nauseates me. Why would anyone want this?

I don't drink water... (1)

Irate Engineer (2814313) | about 7 months ago | (#46801629)

...fish fuck in it.

Re:I don't drink water... (1)

JustShootMe (122551) | about 7 months ago | (#46801643)

Trees fuck in the air. What do you think pollen is?

Re:I don't drink water... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801873)

Trees fuck in the air. What do you think pollen is?

You are mistaken: trees reproduce by alternation of generations. Pollen is actually tiny... well, I call them "cumbots". When pollen lands on an ovary it drills a hole in it and jizzes sperm down the tube it drilled. So the tree is sending something that fucks for it by proxy.

You can't make this shit up.

Re:I don't drink water... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46802247)

Yes but do bears shit in the woods?

no one in PDX cares... (1)

erexx23 (935832) | about 7 months ago | (#46801633)

no one in PDX cares one way or the other... seriously the only ones that seem too dont even live there.

The Parents Are To Blame (1)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 7 months ago | (#46801671)

If those parents had left well enough alone and never taught the kid not to pee in his pants the kid never would have done this. If it was a young girl I wouldn't bother to dump the water.

Get over it (1)

mbone (558574) | about 7 months ago | (#46801703)

It's an open reservoir. Birds use it. That is true of the vast majority of terrestrial water supplies, at some point in their use cycle. (Water in Fairfax County, Virginia, for example, comes from the Occoquan River.) What more do you need to say?

Re:Get over it (1)

mjr167 (2477430) | about 7 months ago | (#46801789)

The city of New Orleans gets their drinking water from the Mississippi River...

Re:Get over it (1)

Longjmp (632577) | about 7 months ago | (#46802251)

You misspelled Missipissi...

Water (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801777)

The city knew full well that there was no problem with the water, but too many of its citizens would have created an uproar. Yes, they're uniformed, but the city just didn't want get bogged down with morons who would never ever understand.

No one understands the real reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801791)

I live in Oregon and this kind of thing happens in the Bull Run watershed quite regularly. Water is dumped, not for any "public safety's sake", but to cause thousands of dollars in "damages" to the city of Portland in order to justify raising the level of the crime from a misdemeanor to a felony.

When there is a problem action must happen (3, Interesting)

RubberDogBone (851604) | about 7 months ago | (#46801795)

This is a classic example of governments and problems. When some sort of problem is identified, and "the people" want action to happen, the government has two choices to deal with the problem.

One, they can take appropriate action, if they can do that and know what to do and how to do it. Even better if doing so is relatively cheap. In this case, you do the cheap thing to make it go away.

Two, they can do everything in their power to suppress knowledge of the problem. A problem nobody knows about is one that doesn't need to be solved. This is especially important if the problem is big or serious, or affects a lot of people in a negative way, and to which the government has no solution. The only thing worse than a big problem is having "the people" aware of it and that their government is unable to act. So is is essential that the government take this route when they cannot solve the problem or don't know how, or can't afford the solution. Or there's some other reason they don't want to solve it but they can't admit that either.

So type one problems, you dump the reservoir. It's cheap to clean it out and, well, water is cheap anyway.

A good example of type two problems are the side effects from the chemical disposal mishandling at Groom Lake. To admit the problem exists would invite a huge liability mess. So by denying it, they avoid the problem. Because they can.

It has been speculated one reason the governments generally dodge the UFO issue is that if they were ever identified as a real force(s) of some kind, then the people would demand that something be done about stopping it. It's not clear anyone would have the ability to DO anything about it and when your government can't protect you, what good is the government? So a problem like this would have to be denied.

Thankfully there are no UFOs. So this is not a problem.

but republicans. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801823)

They love waste.

"reservoir will reportedly cost $35,000 to clean" (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | about 7 months ago | (#46801849)

Well there you have it. One man's costs are another man's revenue, after all, so don't explain with stupidity what you can explain with the sheriff boning the wife of the CEO of the company that cleans the reservoir. It's the least he can do to ease his guilt.

Hah ! Homeopathic Terrorist Attack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801867)

Maybe the TSA program of confiscating bottles of water on planes was smart after all.

Hey western united states (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46801875)

Please continue to piss away your drinking water. It's not like it will be more valuable than gold come the end of the 21st century as you pollute more and more.

Sigh... it's *math,* people (3, Interesting)

zorro-z (1423959) | about 7 months ago | (#46801995)

According to the City of Portland's Website (http://www.portlandoregon.gov/Water/article/328963), the total capacity of the Portland reservoir system is about 220 million gallons, with "distribution storage reservoirs" ranging in size from 1000 to 10 million gallons. How much urine did this kid evacuate into the reservoir? According to the National Institutes of Health (cites in Livescience- http://www.livescience.com/323... [livescience.com] ), the average healthy human bladder can hold "nearly 2 cups of urine comfortably."

Let's err on the side of caution on both sides- assume that this kid both had an insanely huge bladder capable of holding 2-1/2 cups of urine *and* that he peed into a 1000 gallon distribution storage reservoir- the worst-case scenario, in other words. 2-1/2 cups of urine is 20 ounces, which is equal to 0.156 gallons (128 oz/1 gal). 0.156 gallons/1000 gallons = 0.00015625- 0.00156% pee in the reservoir. And this is *before* the processing that happens to all water *after* it exits the reservoir and before it enters the city's pipes.

The reason this is absurd is the same reason that fear of poisoning a city's water supply via open reservoirs is stupid: you'd both need so bloody much of whatever it is to have a significant amount *and* that something would have to survive various filtration, purification, etc. processes after that.

No, scratch that... draining a reservoir b/c a kid peed into it isn't absurd, it's mind-blowingly stupid and a horrid waste of taxpayer money. Any lawyer who couldn't defend against a lawsuit the way I did above deserves to not only be disbarred, but to also have his college + HS diplomas revoked.

Lol (3, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 7 months ago | (#46802143)

Lol... they're closing the resivour next year anyway:

"Those natural contaminants are a key part of the Environmental Protection Agency's justification for a rule that requires all open-air reservoirs to be covered. Portland is scheduled to disconnect the open-air reservoirs on Mt. Tabor from the drinking water system by the end of 2015.

Shaff said there isn't much the bureau can do about those natural contaminants in the meantime, and that they don't pose a serious health risk."

http://www.oregonlive.com/port... [oregonlive.com]

So this is actually twice as stupid as it sounds.

Solution to this repeated problem (1)

runningduck (810975) | about 7 months ago | (#46802149)

I have a solution this this repeated problem. They should run an electric mesh fence around the edge of the reservoir. When idiots decide to take a leak they will be in for a serious shock. If expense is an issue they can set up cameras and live stream then next idiot. The ad revenue of the video going viral should cover the costs.

What fills the reservoir? (1)

Kernel Kurtz (182424) | about 7 months ago | (#46802185)

My city's water supply comes from Shoal Lake, via a near 100 year old aqueduct. There are local reservoirs to store some in case of disruption.

http://www.ryerson.ca/~amacken... [ryerson.ca]

Of course the native bands that live there are not really happy about the whole thing.....

http://www.winnipegfreepress.c... [winnipegfreepress.com]

I rather expect a lot of them piss in the water quite purposely every day, and people here know it.

It is an act of symbolism, but it does not stop normal people from drinking the water.

Don't drink the water (1)

PPH (736903) | about 7 months ago | (#46802227)

Fish shit in it.

And birds, deer,bigfoot, bear, racoons. And since our city reservoir is a lake surrounded by residences, I'm sure numerous kids swimming the city park just don't bother getting out to take a whiz.

Where do the fish go? (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 7 months ago | (#46802257)

Does the Portland city water supply reservoir has special aqua johns for all the fishes and frogs and all sorts of things that live there? And where do *they* go?

I like the lobsters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46802307)

Lighthhouses and Casco Bay. Oh wait, wrong Portland.

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