Portland teen denies urinating in Mount Tabor reservoir

Portland teen denies urinating in Mount Tabor reservoir


CCTV footage of a teenager urinating in a town’s water reservoir has made world headlines — and now the culprit is fighting back.

Teenager Dallas Swonger has denied urinating in Portland’s drinking supply, saying he actually took a leak on a wall next to it.

The 18-year-old was caught on video near the Mount Tabor Reservoir system in the early hours of Wednesday morning, when he was allegedly filmed while relieving himself.

Portland city officials said yesterday they were going to flush away 143 million litres of treated water for the second time in less than three years because he urinated into the city reservoir.

But Swonger has told online new magazine Vocativ that he “didn’t piss in the f***ing water”.

Clearly angered by the news reports about his act which went around the globe, he did not hold back in an attempt to clear his name.

“Everybody thinks it’s funny and a joke and I’m going to be on the news,” he said.

“It’s no f***in’ joke, dude. I don’t want people thinkin’ that Dallas is dumb a** because he pissed in the f***in’ water. In our drinking water. Yeah, that’s f***ing awesome. I mean, wouldn’t you be pissed about that?”

“I leaned up against the wall and pissed on it,” he said.

“Right there on the wall, dude. I don’t know else how to describe it.”

Swonger and the three friends, along with two other people they met in the park, were near one of the reservoirs.

“I was like, ‘Dudes I have to piss so bad,’” he recalled.

“So I just went over to the wall [of the reservoir].”

But Water Bureau officials disagree, saying they believe he did urinate in the reservoir after analysing the CCTV footage.

“When you see the video, he’s leaning right up because he has to get his little wee wee right up to the iron bars,” Portland Water Bureau administrator David Shaff told theOregonian.

“There’s really no doubt what he’s doing.”

“The basic commandment of the Water Bureau is to provide clean, cold and constant water to its customers,” Mr Shaff said.

“And the premise behind that is we don’t have pee in it.”

The open reservoirs hold water that has already been treated and goes directly into mains for distribution to customers.

The urine poses little risk — animals routinely deposit waste without creating a public health crisis — but Shaff said he doesn’t want to serve water that was deliberately tainted.

“There is at least a perceived difference from my perspective,” Shaff said. “I could be wrong on that, but the reality is our customers don’t anticipate drinking water that’s been contaminated by some yahoo who decided to pee into a reservoir.”

Water-quality test samples taken came back clean despite the urine in the water.

The water will be drained into the sewage system, eventually reaching a treatment plant before it’s dumped into the Columbia River.

In the meantime, Mr Shaff said the city has plenty of water to meet demand.

“It’s easy to replace those 38 million gallons (143 million litres) of water,” he said.

“We’re not in the arid Southwest. We’re not in drought-stricken parts of Texas or Oklahoma.”

The incident occurred shortly after 1am, when Water Bureau security personnel noticed three men on camera at Mount Tabor Reservoir No. 5. One was seen on video urinating through an iron fence, officials said. Minutes later, two other young men attempted to scale the fence.

The three men were cited for trespassing and excluded from Mount Tabor Park.



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