Portland Decides Not to Flush Urine-Tainted Reservoir Water

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Portland has backtracked on a decision to flush 38 million gallons of drinking water from a reservoir, after security footage from last month showed a teenager apparently urinating into the facility.

Portland officials said at the time that the water was still safe to drink but, basically, that the gross-out factor justified disposing of it completely. Now, however, officials have decided to repurpose the water, transferring it instead to a defunct reservoir the city is considering keeping open as a (non-drinking) water feature.

USA Today explains

City officials said Wednesday that about 35-36 million gallons of water from Mount Tabor's Reservoir 5 has been completely moved to Reservoir 6 in Mount Tabor Park. It will remain there as part of an experiment to see whether the city's reservoirs can be used as water features after they are phased out of use in 2015...  "We've decided to keep it there to see how long we can keep it clear," Water Bureau spokeswoman Jaymee Cuti said Wednesday.

Portland residents have expressed a desire to keep the old water reservoirs filled, but officials are concerned that the stagnant water could grow algae and other unsavory growths — so the urine-tainted-water will actually be somewhat useful in figuring out whether or not that will happen. 

The teen, for the record, said that he had been relieving himself against the wall, and not into the water.

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