Saturday, April 19



So, a reservoir in Portland is to be drained because someone urinated in it.  Essentially, they're using 38 million gallons of water to flush the loo.

This is...  Something of an overreaction.  Apart from the ick factor, and the possibility that the phantom micturator has an implausibly infectious UTI, the toxic substance in urine is urea.   And if the entire population of Portland emptied their bladders into that one reservoir, the concentration of urea would still be undetectable by taste or smell and below the allowed limit.*

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 12:05 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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It isn't actually all that big a deal. The Bull Run watershed produces far more water than the City needs, so this isn't a case of "wasting water in the desert" etc.

Here in the Tualatin valley our water comes from wells. But it isn't fossil water like in Oklahoma. We get 40 inches of rain a year, and most of it is slow rain spread out over days and weeks, which is optimal for getting the rainwater to soak into the ground and replenish the water table. So we don't have any shortage of water either.

An interesting piece of trivia: that reservoir is on Mount Tabor, which is an extinct volcano inside the city limits. Not too many cities have extinct volcanoes inside of them.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Saturday, April 19 2014 01:54 AM (+rSRq)


However, it is stupid for a different reason: that reservoir is out in the open. Ducks and geese swim in it, and shit in the water. Always have.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Saturday, April 19 2014 03:52 AM (+rSRq)

3 They are aware of that, Steven.  But human pee is grosser than animal pee.
No, seriously, that's why they're dumping the water (unless you want to invent some kind of weird conspiracy theory): 

"The urine poses little risk - animals routinely deposit waste without creating a public health crisis - but Shaff said he doesn't want to serve water that was deliberately tainted.

"There is at least a perceived difference from my perspective," Shaff said. "I could be wrong on that, but the reality is our customers don't anticipate drinking water that's been contaminated by some yahoo who decided to pee into a reservoir.""

Of course, it might be funny to help the government understand why this is stupid by arranging the need to have the water dumped again a few more times.

Posted by: RickC at Saturday, April 19 2014 08:27 AM (0a7VZ)

4 Perhaps now would be a good time for Portland to have a serious discussion about homeopathy.


Posted by: J Greely at Saturday, April 19 2014 02:19 PM (1CisS)

5 Are you kidding?  The way homeopaths think stuff works, 1 bladder's worth of urine in 38 million gallons is probably the strongest formulation ever actually made!

Posted by: RickC at Saturday, April 19 2014 02:36 PM (0a7VZ)

6 Precisely! And when they drain it, it will become even stronger!


Posted by: J Greely at Sunday, April 20 2014 12:17 AM (1CisS)

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