Eight million gallons of water drained from reservoir after man urinates in it

"The Yuck Factor" >> "Common Sense."

Eight million gallons of water had to be drained from a reservoir in Oregon after a man urinated in it.

The operation is costing the state's taxpayers $36,000 and was ordered after Joshua Seater, 21, was caught on a security camera relieving himself in the pristine lake.

Health experts said the incident would not have caused any harm to people in the city of Portland, who are supplied with drinking water from the reservoir. They said the average human bladder holds only six to eight ounces, and the urine would have been vastly diluted.

But David Shaff, an administrator at the Portland Water Bureau, defended the decision to empty the lake. "There are people who will say it's an over reaction. I don't think so. I think what you have to deal with here is the 'yuck' factor," he said.

"Water? Never touch the stuff. Fish fuck in it." -- W. C. Fields.

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20 Responses:

  1. nightbird says:

    What, they use organic water, untainted by additives like chlorine?

  2. Ian Young says:

    we don't fluoridate it either. Because it's mind-control.

  3. Michael Dwyer says:

    I can understand the yuck factor. It is completely unreasonable in a scientific sense, but sadly that doesn't mean anything when we're talking about the General Public. I think Mr. Shaff's decision is reasonable considering his customers were going to freak the fuck out over it. If he was going to maintain the public trust, he had to overreact.

    The truth is, a surface reservoir is dirty. It is open to every bacterium that ever floated on a breeze or was shit out of any bird, bear, or bass. Before that water sees the inside of a water pipe, it gets filtered and chlorinated. Once it has been filtered and chlorinated, it never sees the sky again until it comes out of your tap. Chlorinated drinking water is actually a hazardous material -- the EPA will fine you for releasing drinking water into rivers and streams.

    In the grand scheme of things, if you live anywhere between the Rockies and the Mississippi, then I've been peeing in your water for decades. Sorry 'bout that.

    • Nathan Roberts says:

      I'd love to be that administrator right about now.

      "I can't drink that water, someone peed in it!"

      "Don't worry, it'll help dilute all the bird shit that's in it."

      • phuzz says:

        As my dad always used to say:
        Don't drink water, fish fuck in it.

        Related is the belief that finding newts in your water source means it's pure, without wondering if newts get out of the water to piss.

        • Michael Dwyer says:

          We were instructed to look for life in our water sources when doing the back-country thing. The theory was if the water can support plants, then it can support humans. Even then, we'd still give the water the iodine tablet treatment. I'll take city tap water over iodine-treated water any day. Water shouldn't taste like Band-aid tea.

    • pavel_lishin says:

      Why was the General Public even made aware of this incident?

    • Brian Dunbar says:

      Mr. Shaff has a fiduciary responsibility to tell the General Public to calm the f*** down, that he's not going to blow $36k over a few ounces of urine.

      The state could could have asked the good folks in Portland to contribute to the kitty: everyone who feels 'grossed out' needs to contribute. Get up to $36k and we'll drain that sucker.

    • Hint: your water goes to the same place as everyone peeing east of the Mississippi, too.

  4. hattifattener says:

    Something something homeopathic dilution of piss

  5. This sounds too crazy to be true.

  6. Hadlock says:

    ALL of the water in Texas (excepting parts of the hill country) comes from above ground reservoirs. We only have one natural lake (and it's on the state border, shared with another state). People won't hardly swim in our "lakes" they're so foul, although people sail and waterski on them; but they provide the lion's share of our drinking water and is processed before it reaches the tap.

    There's got to be something more to this story. What happens to fish, animal urine? What happens to fecal matter + fertilizers that's washed into the reservoir from upstream?

    • Michael Dwyer says:

      It all becomes nitrogen fertilizer, and when it isn't controlled, you get an Algal Bloom. That said, at the quantities we're talking about I don't think there's really any more to the story. It think it really truly is just the yuck factor.

    • Ben Brockert says:

      Why are there no wells in Texas? I live in Garland, on Lake Ray Hubbard, and the water tastes like shit.

      Before I lived in Mojave, CA, where it was well water. Full of arsenic, but not shit-tasting.

      Before that, Ames, IA, which has surface reservoirs and a river, but they are just meant to replenish the acquifer; tap water is again well water, and is some of the best tasting in the US.

  7. Jonn says:

    As if to underline how very silly this is, the photo they choose has bits of wood floating around in that same reservoir.