The scenic pools on Mount Tabor and in Washington Park are home to other items as well. Ducks, mostly, floating on the city’s drinking water. But also footballs, shoes and a candlestick.
Since May 11, 2008, the Portland Water Bureau’s maintenance staff has kept a log of every item found in the city’s six open-air drinking-water reservoirs.
The pools have become the center of fresh debate since the City Council announced in May it would stop fighting federal demands to replace the reservoirs with underground tanks costing $279 million.
Activists say it’s a waste of money to replace a century-old system that has never made anyone sick.
“There are no public health problems,” says Floy Jones, who leads Friends of the Reservoirs. “If you think birds are a problem, you would have put in bird wire 20 years ago.”
The Water Bureau monitors activity at the reservoirs with cameras installed in 2007 in a $23 million security and maintenance upgrade. It also documents its discoveries (which include items found in Tabor’s Reservoir No. 6, currently drained).
Here’s what they found.