Portland Will Not Flush Pee-Tainted Reservoir
Water to be transferred to nearby park
For exclusive access to all of our fitness, gear, adventure, and travel stories, plus discounts on trips, events, and gear, sign up for Outside+ today.
Last month, the city of Portland caused quite a stir after it announced it was going to flush more than 35 million gallons of water after an enterprising teenager decided to urinate in the reservoir. Well, as it turns out, the city has decided not to flush the water.
Instead it will be transferred from Reservoir 5 into Reservoir 6 in Mount Tabor Park, where it will be observed. If the water remains algae-free, it will be kept as a pond or “water feature.” The new initiative is part of an experiment to determine whether the city’s reservoirs can be used as water features after they are phased out of use next year.
The offending teenager, 18-year-old Dallas Swonger, who was caught on video relieving himself into the reservoir, gave perhaps the most compelling argument yet for keeping the water when he was interviewed about the incident last month. “Like, how they can do that?” Swonger eloquently explained to Vocativ. “How can they be like, ‘Yeah, we’re gonna flush all that water.’ Dude, I’ve seen dead birds in there. During the summertime I’ve see hella dead animals in there. Like dead squirrels and shit. I mean, really, dude?”