Oregon: A city of Portland, Oregon is draining 38 million gallons (143 million liters) of drinking water down the drain after a 19-year old teenager was caught on camera urinated in an open reservoir, city water officials said.
The water — enough to fill nearly 60 Olympic-size swimming pools, according to reports — will be discarded despite tests finding no evidence of contamination.
David Shaff, Portland Water Bureau Administrator, said about 38 million gallons will be discarded and replaced with fresh water from the Bull Run water supply — even though subsequent tests showed no contamination.
“Any time there is human contamination of our drinking water, as a precaution we shut the reservoir down and begin to drain and clean it,” he added.
The open reservoirs hold water that’s already been treated and goes directly into mains for distribution to customers.
Shaff said that the urine cause little risk despite animals routinely deposit waste without creating a public health crisis but he not wanted to serve water that was deliberately contaminated.
But the decision raised eyebrows further south down the US West Coast, where California is suffering from its worst drought in decades.