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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Did Portland really need to dump the Tabor reservoir water?

When some clueless Portland punk urinated in the city's drinking water reservoir at Mount Tabor Park the other night, the city sanctimoniously announced that it would have to drain the reservoir and dump the water. But did it really have to? The water at that particular facility is treated with chlorine both before and after it arrives, according to this story, written after the Washington Park E. coli scare of November 2009:

But the bureau avoided having to declare a boil-water alert five weeks earlier after E. coli also was confirmed in an open Mount Tabor reservoir. The difference in that case was that all the water leaving the Tabor reservoir is treated with a dose of chlorine, a disinfectant that kills E. coli and other bacteria. As result, the reservoir was simply taken off-line, drained and cleaned.

In fact, all water leaving the Bull Run Watershed — Portland’s main water source — is treated with chlorine. But because the chlorine dissipates as the water travels through the distribution system, it is boosted with more chlorine at the Mount Tabor reservoir, where the E. coli was found on Oct. 21.

If that water had not been treated with chlorine, the bureau would have had no choice but to issue a boil-water alert for much of Southeast and Northeast Portland — as it did later for areas served by the Washington Park reservoir. Since that reservoir does not include a chlorine booster, the bureau was forced to issue the boil-water alert for the westside of Portland and a number of adjacent water districts when E. coli was confirmed there on Nov. 27.

The kid who did this needs a few days in jail, or maybe some sort of rehab. But the $30,000-plus cost of draining the reservoir? Maybe the water ratepayers should write that down as a theater expense.

Comments (24)

As I said before, someone should throw a Baby Ruth in the resrevoir and see what they do.

I saw/heard Randy say the water is only clorinated before it enters the reservoir.

Chlorination facilities are located at Tabor and Washington Park reservoirs. All of the reservoirs have the ability to receive a chlorine "boost" to maintain the needed chlorine residual in the distribution system.
As a matter of fact in Randy Leonard's June 1, 2011 reservoir variance letter to the State of Oregon he stated the same.
Yet in talking with the t.v folks he says chlorine is only added before the water enters the reservoirs.

As is posted clearly on all of the reservoir fencing at Tabor one is subject to arrest for throwing anything into the reservoirs. Oddly none of the 3 or 5 involved were cited.

The messaging from the Bureau is straight from their cozy consultant, Joe Glicker's playbook. After 100 years the Bureau is still trying to "convince the public" that we must bury the reservoirs- design and build, design and build, design and build and build and build- lining the pockets of the multinationals that have been on retainer since the 1980's.

Mt. Tabor park closes at midnight. The gates might even be locked at 10 p.m. Why didn't the on site security call the police the minute the young men were spotted. And why didn't they hop in their car or run up to the reservoir immediately? The young men were at the back of Reservoir 1, Thumbalina. To get there they had to travel the long walkway giving security time to act.

Approximately $45 million dollars has been spent on open reservoir security and deferred maintenance in recent years. City Council authorized final payment yesterday on a $23 million open reservoir security upgrade and deferred maintenance open reservoir contract. Sensor equipment, new infra red cameras, etc., were installed. Shaff reported to the Budget committee that the Bureau was spending money on an uncertified Bureau police force, yet no security show up until after the act.

No the reservoir doesn't need to be drained. The largest reservoir, reservoir 6 is being drained and cleaned (35 million gallons each cell. Res. 6 hasn't been utilized since Sept. in that the Bureau has more water than it can sell.
As Shaff said the Dams are full and it has been raining.
There is no cost to the Bureau for replacing the drained water beyond the cost to BES.

Randy Leonard and his $200,000K+ salaried puppet David Shaff have a lot of explaining to do. Thing is, they are at the top of this worthless heap of bureaucrats so they don't have to be accountable to anyone. Us ratepayers, we don't count. It is so obvious to everyone that this is theatre just like the "probably a sea gull" incident up at WA Park last year orchestrated again, by David Shaff and his puppet master, Randy Leonard. Pathetic. The dope who did the peeing should be fined at a minimum and David Shaff should pay for replacing the water that he stupidly commanded to be dumped - he can certainly afford it.

What a stupid waste of water and money. Of course it was not the smartest idea to use the reservoir as a urinal but to think that such a small amount of pee would contaminate millions of gallons of water is a massive over-reaction.

If you read Shaff's comments to the press immediately after this happened, the answer is that he was personally icked out by the pee, and didn't think beyond that. "Would you want to drink water you knew someone had peed in?" was about all he could say. Science schmience.

30k seems high to me. After all, it's pee water, not asbestos. Even if it costs that much, it seems only a feel good thing for those with germ phobias.

We all know there are others peeing and doing other things on occasion to the water up there, but they are seldom caught. I doubt this kid's teensy weensy would have made us all ill. Those running the place seldom mention the nasty bird and animal leftovers they find in there from day to day.

We should have armed Randy's Water Bureau and let them blast away. Is a fence an attractive nuisance? Without the video and confession this would be a non issue. I'm Glad to pay extra for different color potholes/bikeswales funding.


So they are draining the reservoir for a half cup of pee, but they didn't when they found E-coli in it? What kind of logic is that?

So let me understand.....if you pee in public in downtown Portland, and cause no monetary damage you get arrested. But if you pee in public in a public water reservoir, causing $30,000 +- in damage and are responsible for draining seven million gallons of potable water, you get to go home...scott free Plz send me a copy of the new rule book. I don't get it.

Would you want to drink water you knew someone had peed in?"

My reply - Would you want to pay 50% more for the same water you had 3 years ago?

On page 147 (PDF page 167) of the city's "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report For The Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2010," there's a full-page photo of a pigeon perched in a downtown Portland bubbler water fountain, with its beak burrowed in the flow of water, taking a drink of water.

Is that supposed to be an advertisement for Portland's Water Bureau?

So let me understand.....if you [even look like you're going to] pee in public in downtown Portland, and cause no monetary damage you get...

beaten to death.

Ask James Chasse.

One can only imagine the carnage if someone threw a Baby Ruth in the reservoir.

Well, of course, there's more to the story:


Randy and Schaff were just trying to stay with the program.

My guess is they paid the clown and that is why there were no charges filed. I thought peeing in public was now considered
a sex crime? Only in p town .............

A report I read somewhere (don't remember where or when) said the urinator was from Molalla.


The story that identifies the peeer as a Mollalan. Perhaps he was moving to Portland to retire.

Don't Randy and his poodle pup Shaff don't know that ALL the water has been peed in at some point?

In today's O you can read an LTE on the Reservoir 1 (small upper reservoir) incident from a recently retired PWB public relations employee, Tricia Knoll. The Water Bureau is unable to find any informed organization to support their $400 million reservoir burial plans (and the unnecessary 85% increase in current water bills) thus Randy seeks out retired Water Bureau employees to try and "convince the public".

Randy appointed Tricia to the current Charter Commission.

Where does our wildlife pee?

This story is getting funnier by the day. Just yesterday, I heard talk about "Pee-Gate" on a nationl talk show radio program here in Reno. The comments about the complete stupidity of Portland Water Department Officials were on target. I wonder if any people in Portland Government realize that between stunts like this and the "Bum Hilton", they have become a national laughing stock?

Of course it’s crazy to empty the reservoir because someone took a leak in it. And until recently I was disgusted at the city’s willingness to roll over to the feds’ mandate to unnecessarily cover Portland’s reservoirs. But in the light of Fukushima, I have to rethink: burying the reservoirs could be the right action for the wrong reasons. It rains, and it rains, and it rains in Portland...

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