The “Yuck” Factor

Tinkle Tinkle
Eight million gallons of water had to be drained from a
reservoir at a cost of more than $32,000 to the taxpayer after a
young man admitted to urinating in it.
21-year-old Joshua Seater was caught on closed-circuit TV
walking up to the huge reservoir in Portland, Oregon, in the
early hours of the morning before relieving himself onto the
treated water.
As soon as security spotted the man, they cut off the key water
supply and alerted authorities. Seater may now face misdemeanor
charges and fines.
“That’s what happened last night, somebody did something really
stupid,” David Shaff of the Portland Water Bureau told MSNBC.
By the next day, the Water Bureau made the decision to drain the
reservoir of eight million gallons of water at a cost of $32,700
to the taxpayer.
Shaff said he made the decision based on the “yuck” factor
involved in someone urinating into people’s drinking water.
“More likely than not a tiny bit of urine in eight million
gallons of water isn’t going to hurt anybody,” he said.
“But in this one, I guess I’m responding in part to the yuck
Seater admitted he had acted stupidly and offered to help clean
up the mess he had caused.
“I had a pleasant buzz, and I should have known better,” he told
“It was a split second thing and as soon as I was done I was
like, ‘Oh man.’ I saw the police officer show up, and I knew
exactly what they were here for.”
He added: “I wouldn’t mind paying for it, but I don’t have a job
right now. I’m willing to do community service to clean up the
place because I feel bad and feel pretty stupid.”
City commissioner Randy Leonard said it was important the
reservoir was drained because of the huge number of people it
serves in the area.
“The water is chlorinated, but it’s chlorinated before the
reservoirs so the water in the reservoirs is the water that you
drink,” he said.
Sergeant Pete Simpson, of the Portland Police Bureau, added:
“It’s really an unfortunate incident that probably could have
been avoided if he had just chosen a bush.”
From The Mountain:
This is a rather bizarre yet amusing story. One little tinkle in
eight million gallons of water isn’t a big deal. Actually it’s
no deal at all. The reservoir is like an open lake. Do you think
birds flying overhead and other animals give a hoot about
relieving themselves in Portland’s or any other city’s drinking
A healthy person’s urine is about 95 percent water and sterile.
Believe it or not, a significant percentage of the world’s
population drink their own urine. So what’s the point of the
MountainWings issue?
If we believe that a microscopic bit of contamination ruins the
whole thing, what about the many contaminated things that we
allow into our lives and our children’s lives?
The things that we drink in our spirits and expel from it have
a much more lasting impact than a little urine laced water.
Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.” “Are you still so
dull?” Jesus asked them. “Don’t you see that whatever enters the
mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the
things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these
make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts,
murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony,
slander. These are what make a man ‘unclean’; but eating with
unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean.'”