Peeved Portland, Ore., officials plan to drain millions of gallons of treated drinking water from a city reservoir after a teenager was caught on surveillance cameras taking a brazen bathroom break.
Nineteen-year-old Trey Michael McDaniel was captured urinating through the iron fence at the Mount Tabor Reservoir just after 1 a.m. Wednesday, police and water bureau officials said.
Two others with him, Daniel Delynn McDonald, 18, and Dallas Jeffrey Delynn, 18, were also caught trying to scale a fence.
The unsavory act has prompted officials to decide to flush 38 million gallons of drinking water — or the equivalent of 57 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Generally, urine in such a large volume of treated water poses little risk to the public, and even animals are known to answer the call of nature into the reservoir, which gets its water from the Bull Run watershed.
“Our customers have an expectation that their water is not deliberately contaminated. We have the ability to meet that expectation while minimizing public health concerns,” David Shaff, Portland Water Bureau administrator, said in a statement.
He added that the city has enough water at this time and isn’t suffering from a drought.
That particular reservoir was taken offline while water quality tests were taken Wednesday. The results are due back Thursday.
The three suspects were given "park exclusions" and not arrested, according to the Portland Police Department. That means they are banned from the park for at least 30 days.
Chuck Sparks, a spokesman for the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office told NBC News they had not received the police charges as of Thursday afternoon — but noted that even if further charges were pursued, they wouldn't discuss the case with the media.
The city previously drained the reservoir in 2011 after someone had urinated into it. But not everyone’s relieved this time around.
Floy Jones, co-founder of the group Friends of the Reservoirs, told The Associated Press that dumping so much water for something that hasn’t proven harmful doesn’t make sense.
“It’s extremely wasteful,” she said.
— Erik Ortiz and Tony Freinberg
First published April 17 2014, 6:02 AM