By Dana Ellis

Catlin Gabel School, Catlin Speak

On Wednesday evening, April 16th, a teenager was caught on tape urinating into Mt. Tabor reservoir. After this incident the water was tested and appears to not have been contaminated from the urine. However, because of the health risks involved the water bureau has decided to drain the 39 million gallon water reservoir.

The urine poses little health risk, but city officials do not want customers to think the water is tainted. However as noted by Water Bureau administrator David Shaff, the city has plenty of water, and draining the 38 million gallons won’t interrupt service or strain supply. Although the water tested free of contamination from the urine because of a “very minimal risk” from drinking the water the bureau has decided to drain the reservoir.

The water will be drained into the sewer system, treated at a wastewater plant and then released into the Columbia River. Shaff remarks that the draining will only take time and not money. This will not affect the bureau’s budget, since they will not have to pay anyone and will have the cleaning done quickly.

About Grace Masback

Grace Masback, 17, aspires to give voice to the voiceless and holds the modest ambition of becoming the voice of Gen Z. Frustrated by the dearth of impactful platforms for teen journalists, she founded WANT, a news, sports, and entertainment website that aggregates the best in high school journalism from school newspapers and teen bloggers around the world (

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