The Portland Water Incident
By James Donahue
were struck by the decision by the City of Portland, Oregon to pump 38 million gallons of water from an open reservoir after
a teenager was filmed urinating in it. The reservoir supplies drinking water to the city, authorities explained.
So who are they trying to kid?
We find it hard to believe that the people of Portland are drinking water directly from an open reservoir without
having it pass through some kind of a water purification system before it flows from their taps.
In fact, just doing a quick search on line reveals that Portland’s
drinking water, which mostly flows from the Bull Run Watershed some 30 miles away, is disinfected with Chlorine and Ammonia
in a process called chlorination. This treatment ensures that the water the people use meets federal and state drinking water
While the reservoir in question
is surrounded by a tall steel fence, the video shows the boy urinating through the fence and directly into the water. If the
fence is that close to the water, we have to assume that this kind of activity has been secretly going on at that reservoir
for years. And if the reservoir is that exposed, why isn’t anyone worried about birds and other wildlife gaining access
to the water?
The city website notes
that the water from the reservoir is not filtered, which might be a mistake. Also we think there are better ways to purify
the water than dumping chlorine and ammonia in it. We would not choose to drink tap water in Portland just for this reason
But with the shortage of good potable
water becoming a world-wide issue, Portland’s inability to deal with human urine mixed with 38 million gallons of water
is inexcusable. We suspect it was done for political reasons; to assure the public that the water is safe to drink. The city
pumped the reservoir only because the story made national news.
A Portland official told reporters that the decision was made after the water was tested. “Our customers
have an expectation that their water is not deliberately contaminated,” he said.
In case you are wondering, the youth in question, and two others who gained access to the property with him, were
charged. All three will answer for trespassing and one for public urination.