Some of you may recall that in 2011 we discussed the efficiency and logic of Portland officials dumping 8 million gallons of drinking water after a man urinated in the city’s open reservoir. Well, it has now happened again. After a 21-year-old man admitted urinating in a Mt. Tabor reservoir last Wednesday, the city cut off its key water supply and dumped 7.8 million gallons of drinking water. The question, again, is the logic of such a move. Even if one does not accept that, as industry experts often spouted, “the solution to pollution is dilution,” this is such a tiny amount of impurities as to be untraceable. This would be no more than 12 ounces within 8 million gallons of water.
Notably, the 21-year-old man and his four friends (and a dog) were not given citations. They were seen however throwing objects into reservoir No. 1 at about 1:30 a.m. and one person “walked up to the reservoir fencing and urinated into the reservoir.”
Police say that they will be looking at a videotape and give the matter to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office for possible criminal charges. Sgt. Pete Simpson, a police spokesman, noted “It’ll kind of depend on what the surveillance video shows. He’s not out of the water yet.”
In the meantime, David Shaff, administrator for the Water Bureau, dumped the 7.8 million gallons of drinking water. While he originally thought that the cost of the water was $600,000, he reduced that figure rather substantially to a retail price of almost $28,500, and disposal fees are expected at about $7,600. The decision still remains an odd, if not illogical, one. After all, the Water Bureau routinely removes dead and rotting animals from the water and birds poop continually in the water. However, he insisted that “[t]his is different. Do you want to drink pee?” He dismissed scientific questions about the dilution of the urine and said that “most people are gonna be pretty damn squeamish about that.”
I understand that he is in the business of selling water, but why not say that the matter has been addressed and the water quality has been confirmed? In the meantime, if the man knew that this was the city’s water supply, do you believe he should be charged? The interesting legal dimension is that on a practical he did not truly foul the drinking supply for individual citizens. The dumping of the water was a reaction of the Water Bureau that many would question. Nevertheless, this was a disgusting act by someone old enough to know better.
We also have another journalistic question like the one we discussed with the underaged girls yesterday in the bullying case. Here the media is not releasing the man’s name because he was not charged with a crime. Why not? He is 21 and reportedly admitted that he urinated in the water supply of the city. That would seem newsworthy to learn who would do such a disgusting act. What do you think?
Source: Daily Mail