No here’s a dumb story from Portland, Oregon:
When an apparently drunk man peed in a Mount Tabor reservoir around 1:30am last night, he set off an unprecedented chain reaction.
A security officer who had been watching the man and his four friends drinking from the reservoir guard tower alerted police, then called on the water bureau to take the reservoir offline. Using a new $23 million remote control system, just installed in April, the bureau immediately shut off the pipes leading from the reservoir. The guard and a police officer confronted the men and got their information, including the alleged 21-year-old pee-er.
Then, the water bureau made the call to dump the entire 7.2 million gallons of water in the reservoir, at a cost of over $35,000. That’s one expensive trip to the bathroom.
On top of that, the city is working with the district attorney to consider pressing charges against the pee-er, perhaps to help recoup some of the cost. Water Bureau administrator David Shaff isn’t sure what the charge would be exactly, “Well, I just dumped 8 million gallons, there’s maybe a ‘theft’ in there somewhere… He has some idea that he’s made a mistake, but he has no idea how big.”
[Emphasis in the original.]
His mistake wasn’t as big as the one the Water Bureau just made by dumping all that water. Maybe I’m missing something but doesn’t the Water Bureau clean the water? Not to mention that when you dilute a bladder’s worth of urine with seven million gallons of clean water, for all practical purposes the resulting water is still urine-free. Especially since urine itself is mostly water.
Also, urine is normally sterile, so the only risk is from bacteria if the guy had an infection that could get into the urine stream. Another story indicates that he was out that night with four other people. I haven’t done the math, but my guess is that those people face a greater health risk than the population of Portland because they probably touched a guy who had just peed without washing his hands.