Mount Tabor Reservoir Number 5 is seen in Portland, Oregon April 17, 2014. The city is flushing 38 million gallons (143 million liters) of drinking water down the drain because a 19-year-old man urinated in the open reservoir early on Wednesday morning, city water officials said.  REUTERS/Steve Dipaola  (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY)

Portland’s Teen Urinator Speaks About the Whiz Seen Round the World

"I don’t want people thinkin’ that Dallas is a dumb-ass because he pissed in the fuckin’ water"

Dallas Swonger wants the world to just know one thing.

“I didn’t piss in the fucking water,” he says, pulling a drag off a Newport cigarette.

Dallas Swonger

The Portland teen is in the hot seat after surveillance video supposedly captured him taking a leak in a city reservoir early Wednesday morning, prompting officials to flush 38 million gallons of drinking water down the drain.

For those more visually inclined, that’s enough H20 to fill about 57 Olympic-size swimming pools. Or 304 million tallboy cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

“Yeah, it’s fucking retarded dude,” Swonger says.

In an exclusive, expletive-filled interview with Vocativ outside his mother’s home Thursday, the 18-year-old insisted that his piss never trickled into Portland’s drinking supply. He also lamented the looming reality that this story will make him a national (and international) laughing stock.

“Everybody thinks it’s funny and a joke and I’m going to be on the news,” he says, flicking the cigarette butt into a nearby bush. “It’s no fuckin’ joke, dude. I don’t want people thinkin’ that Dallas is a dumb ass because he pissed in the fuckin’ water. In our drinking water. Yeah, that’s fucking awesome. I mean, wouldn’t you be pissed about that?”

The night that launched the whiz-seen-round-the-world had started off on a more feel-good note for Swonger. He says he had moved back to town that very day from St. Helens, which is 30 miles north of Portland, where he had been living with his dad. Eager to shred with some friends, he and two buddies went to skateboard at Mount Tabor Park after hours, which is home to three of the city’s five uncovered drinking water reservoirs – and a handful of excellent hill runs. After bombing down the park’s western slope, nature began to call Swonger. It was around 1 a.m. 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 says. “So I just went over to the wall [of the reservoir].”

Uploaded By: pdxwater

“I leaned up against the wall and pissed on it,” he says. “Right there on the wall, dude. I don’t know else how to describe it.”

Water Bureau officials, however, insist Swonger took a leek in the drink. “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,” bureau administrator Davd Shaff told the Oregonian. “There’s really no doubt what he’s doing.”

Water Bureau security and Portland Police officers later stopped Swonger and his two friends, identified as Trey McDaniel and Daniel McDonald, and cited all three with trespassing. Swonger was also cited for public urination.

While human pee is not a health hazard – and scores of animals piss, shit and die in Mount Tabor’s reservoirs every year – the city says it will dump a total of 38 million gallons of water, even though test results on Thursday showed no signs of water contamination.

“Like, how they can do that?” says Swonger. “How can they be like, ‘Yeah, we’re gonna flush all that water.’ Dude, I’ve seen dead birds in there. During the summer time I’ve see hella dead animals in there. Like dead squirrels and shit. I mean, really, dude?”

Yes, really. In 2011, city officials flushed 7.8 million gallons of reservoir water from Mount Tabor after another man decided to unzip and rip. The Water Bureau also says that it intends to pursue additional charges against Swonger.

Mount Tabor Reservoir: The city is flushing 38 million gallons of drinking water down the drain because it says Dallas peed in the open reservoir.

REUTERS/Steve Dipaola

The whole ordeal has Swonger pretty rattled. “Dallas is really bummed out about all of it,” says his skateboard buddy McDonald, who we reached by phone on Thursday. “He’s a really good guy at heart. He just doesn’t make the best decisions. Honestly, he has the potential to do really good.”

As Swonger stood outside his family’s yellow, single-story house talking to a reporter, his mother suddenly opened the front door. “Dallas, don’t do anything stupid,” she says, ushering him indoors. She adds: “I’m sorry, he just graduated from high school. He’s trying to get his stuff together.”

Swonger stops at the front door and turns around. “Sorry, dude,” he says. “I don’t know, dude. I don’t know what’s going on.”

Respond Now
  • I could see a fine or community service, but this is absurd and an overboard kneejerk reaction. Dumping that water is just wrong. If H2O has too much bacteria in it (usually in the hot summer months) then chlorine is added. Each town is supposed to test the water supply daily.  When I lived in Lynn, MA, my family and most of town became extremely ill just because, in Aug., the guy responsible for doing that job…didn’t. Don’t know if he was fired or not.     I remember the family of 4 who were stranded in the desert for days and survived on crayons and their own urine the last few days after the radiator water went. Not a plesant thing to do, but the worst they had was sunburn and dehydration – no diseases or such. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2008/05/the_yellow_liquid_diet.html

  • While it wasn’t a smart move to piss anywhere near the reservoir, there has probably been more animal excrecions and carcasis that would have a greater affect on the water supply than this kids piss would. Just remember, urine is 95% water that has been sterileized by our body.

  • No, dude, the dude (Dallas) IS a stupid little prick.  I hope he has to repay the city every cent it cost to clean up his mess.  Effing douchebag.

  • He sounds like a very smart kid… nah.

  • I am hard-pressed to understand how it is David Shaff, Portland’s water bureau chief, can clearly refer to Dallas Swonger’s “little wee wee”, which cannot be seen in the video, and, yet, my comment is deleted, asking how Mr. Shaff would know.

  • I hope they bill him for the water they have to dump

    1 Reply - Reply Now
    • Since there is absolutely NO reason to dump the water, it should not be, and, therefore, there should be no cost involved.

  • Show More
  • New verb: swonge.I could swear I read this whole story, almost word for word, in the Onion last year.

  • BIG F—ING DEAL!  Where Do You Think The Water Goes When You Flush The Toilet?  You Drink It Months Later. Now Dead Animals In The Water Supply? — Not Thats Scary!Plus, 90% Of The Food In Your Supermarket Is Bad For You.  Where’s The News Article On That Story?  You Kids Did Nothing Worth That Was Worthy Of Flushing 38,000,000 Gallons Of Drinking Water!

    1 Reply - Reply Now
    • Tell you what, Rick.  Come to Portland sometime and we’ll get Swonger to piss in your mouth.  Then you can lecture us about what’s “Worthy Of Flushing 38,000,000 Gallons Of Drinking Water!”  Until then, STFU.

  • The kids that are being quoted in this article sound as ignorant as they come. they can’t even speak good english.

  • “Like, how they can do that?”and Does this kid really refer to himself in the third person? And that horrible treble clef tattoo? Dumping the water was stupid and so is this article. 

  • Those who ought to be in trouble about this are the Portland officals who’ve got a public water system so insecure something like this could happen.

    1 Reply - Reply Now
    • They are phasing out all their open-water reservoirs. I think the Tabor Mountain one is being closed in a few years. Uncovered drinking water reserves will soon be a thing of the past.Just sad knowing how scarce water is in California right now.

  • lol I feel bad for him.  That’s nasty there are dead animals in the water.  The water should not be open like that in the first place.  Anyone could put anything in that water.  Gross.

    1 Reply - Reply Now
    • thank you for the first intellegent comment I’ve seen on this.  I’m in Portland so I’ve heard alot!

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