Portland, Ore., officials will be defending the big flush for a long time.

The city is draining an 8 million gallon reservoir after a man was spotted on a video camera urinating in the lake. Never mind that the open air lake has ducks, fish and other forms of life in there.

The city has five open air reservoirs and the water taken from them goes directly into the city’s pipes. That’s different from Norman, where the water from Lake Thunderbird is pumped to the water treatment plant on Robinson Street before it is mixed with well water in the city’s distribution system.

Portland drains its reservoirs twice a year for cleaning. Workers have found animal carcasses, paint cans and plastic bags used to scoop animal waste.

Norman and the state have started a working group to discuss water reuse.

Treated water from Norman’s sewage treatment plant could some day be diverted from the Canadian River. As one proponent tells us often, “Water has no memory.”

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