After a 21-year-old drunk man was caught urinating into city water, Portland officials drained 8 million gallons of treated drinking water. According to city officials, they didn’t want residents drinking any levels of contaminated water, no matter how little damage the approximately half-pint of urine could have caused.
Healthy people typically produce sterile urine, and many local residents are considering this extreme move a major overreaction since animals routinely contribute waste to this water, and sometimes even die in it, their carcasses found in a bi-yearly draining.
The thing that baffles me the most about this isn’t the fact that 1 billion people worldwide don’t have access to clean drinking water, yet the hipsters running Portland can go ahead and dump all of this out. While it is horrifying to think about how simple it is for people in this country to dispose of resources like it’s no big deal, it’s even more horrifying to me that it was apparently very easy for some drunk kid to pee in 8 million gallons of drinking water.
I mean, I’d like to think it’s really difficult to gain access to it when you’re sober and know exactly where to find it, much less when you’re drunk and not even looking for it. Imagine what else could be done to the water supply if it’s that easy to find when you’re wasted. Pretty scary stuff. Did the city forget to lock the water door?
Not only that, but I have a feeling we’ve consumed way worse and lived through it. In 8 million gallons, urine is barely detectable. I understand the very small risk of disease, but cancel that out by testing the guy for every disease under the sun before making such a huge decision.
The city claims to find dead animals, dog poop bags and other disgusting debris when they drain the water bi-yearly, so who knows what the residents are consuming without even realizing it? Maybe in some cases, ignorance is bliss. I’m sure many people in Ethiopia would kill to have 8 million gallons of drinking water available.
What do you think? Did Portland officials make a wise decision?
Image CC licensed by Alastair Rae: Do not urinate sign.