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Water tank vandals a pair of whiz kids
The Boston Herald ^ | 04/07/2006 | Sara Withee

Posted on 04/07/2006 3:13:25 AM PDT by Panerai

BLACKSTONE - The water scare that recently left worried Blackstone residents high and dry is being blamed on vandals urinating in a giant water tank.

“It sounds kind of stupid” but true, Selectman Chairman Charles Sawyer said yesterday.

Sawyer said the two teenage boys who broke into the water supply told police there was nothing in a suspicious bucket found near the tank, but admitted to relieving themselves in the tank.

“It’s a serious, serious crime. A lesson has to be learned from this,” Sawyer added.

The two 15-year-olds broke into a Blackstone water tank March 27, forcing a two-day town-wide water ban that ended when state tests showed no harmful levels of E. coli or other bacteria.

Police also recovered a road flare the boys allegedly threw in the 1.3 million-gallon tank, which has been drained and is being refilled to return online next week, Sawyer said. The boys are accused of getting past a 12-foot fence and cutting lines to an alarm and venting.

Police have charged both boys with malicious destruction of property, tampering with a public water supply, polluting the water supply and trespassing. A teenage girl will also be summoned to court to face a trespassing charge.

Ed Coletta, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection, said he could not confirm Sawyer’s report because his department did not test for urine in the water supply.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: idiots; pee; watertank

1 posted on 04/07/2006 3:13:27 AM PDT by Panerai
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To: Panerai

This coffee, tastes weird.


2 posted on 04/07/2006 3:18:36 AM PDT by HEY4QDEMS (Doing the job Americans will do, paying the taxes illegals don't pay.)
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To: Panerai

Great reporting; the story first says that they urinated in the water tank, then it says that they "relieved themselves" in the tank, and then that the water was tested for E. Coli and other harmful bacteria.

If they HAD only urinated in the tank, there would be no concern for E. Coli or other bacteria, since urine is sterile. They obviously defecated in the tank. Stoopid reporter....


3 posted on 04/07/2006 3:24:50 AM PDT by Born Conservative (Chronic Positivity - http://jsher.livejournal.com/)
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To: Born Conservative
"If they HAD only urinated in the tank, there would be no concern for E. Coli or other bacteria, since urine is sterile. "

Absolutely entirely FALSE! The number one cause of urinary tract infections is E. coli for which there is a really nasty drug-resistant strain running around the US. There are any number of other infections in the urinary tracts a people. Chlamydia Trachomatis (sexually transmitted) can be spread to the respiratory tract by ingestion. The list of infections that thrive in urine is incredibly long and would require several months of research just to find the bulk of know sources.

As an example:

J Infect. 1998 Mar;36(2):244-5. The nPCR detection of Chlamydia pneumoniae and Chlamydia trachomatis in children hospitalized for bronchiolitis.

Khan MA, Potter CW.

Department of Medical Microbiology, Medical School, University of Sheffield, U.K.

Nasopharyngeal aspirates from children admitted with the diagnosis of bronchiolitis, were screened for Chlamydia pneumoniae, and C. trachomatis. The nested PCR was found to be more sensitive that amplified the DNA extracts of up to two elementary bodies of the test strains. Using this technique, C. pneumoniae was detected in two (1.3%), and C. trachomatis in 26 17.1%) of the 152 samples tested. This study indicated C. pneumoniae infections to be unusual in children with bronchiolitis.

PMID: 8945706 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
4 posted on 04/07/2006 3:49:41 AM PDT by MedicalMess
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To: HEY4QDEMS

"It does have a little wang in it."

-"Hollywood Knights" reference.


5 posted on 04/07/2006 4:03:14 AM PDT by Hillarys Gate Cult (The man who said "there's no such thing as a stupid question" has never talked to Helen Thomas.)
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To: Panerai

Good thing they weren't terrorists putting poison into the water. I thought water supplies were supposed to be protected.


6 posted on 04/07/2006 4:05:36 AM PDT by kittymyrib
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To: Panerai
If it was this easy for a couple punks to get into, what the heck does that say about keeping it safe from terrorists?
7 posted on 04/07/2006 4:15:04 AM PDT by Ladysmith ((NRA, SAS))
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To: kittymyrib

No brainer, isn't it?


8 posted on 04/07/2006 4:17:22 AM PDT by Ladysmith ((NRA, SAS))
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To: Panerai

I know that pointing out a 15 year old boy did something stupid (as a former 15 year old boy, I have personal experience in this area) is redundant...

What were these kids thinking? Did they expect not to drink or eat anything with water and refrain from bathing until the tank had emptied of the water they contaminated? Its gross even for a 15 year old boy.


9 posted on 04/07/2006 5:40:40 AM PDT by babyface00
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To: babyface00

Right you are! And in a perfect world no one has ever whizzed in the pool either.


10 posted on 04/07/2006 5:48:50 AM PDT by newcthem
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To: newcthem

I like your screen name - very creative.


11 posted on 04/07/2006 6:08:34 AM PDT by babyface00
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To: Born Conservative

Not neccessarily! Part of the Standard water test is for e-coli. It is an indicator organism. Stands to reason that if someone has contaminated the water in any way, you run the full gamut of tests.


12 posted on 04/07/2006 6:22:54 AM PDT by rock58seg (Republicans on ports,As funny as Democrats pretending to know about Natl Security and quail hunting.)
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To: kittymyrib

Do the math. 1.3 million gal tank. If they put in 1.5 gals of lets say poison, it would still only be 1 part per million.

By weight we are talking about 10,400,000 lbs. It would require a 10 pound sack of contaminant to equal 1 part per million.

Remember also that water is leaving and entering the tank at the same time further diluting the contaminant. It really is more difficult than one would think to effectively poison a large water supply.

That does not mean, These idiots should be taken lightly.

It does mean, however, that we should keep these "scares" in perspective.


13 posted on 04/07/2006 6:36:29 AM PDT by rock58seg (Republicans on ports,As funny as Democrats pretending to know about Natl Security and quail hunting.)
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To: rock58seg; kittymyrib
I did the math, out of idle curiosity - I knew it would take "a lot", but I was kind of curious to see how much "a lot" would turn out to be ;)

Anyway, potassium cyanide is relatively cheap to make, highly toxic, and readily soluble in water. LD50 for KCN is 10 mg/kg, or thereabouts, so to make 1 8 oz. glass of water highly toxic, we want to shoot for 680 mg/glass, assuming a 150 pound (68 kg) person. To contaminate 1.3 million gallons to that extent - ignoring for a moment the issue you raise about dilution from water flowing into and out of the tank - would then require just over 14,000 kg of KCN, or about 15-1/2 tons of the stuff. Which is, to say the least, a little bit more than you're going to haul in a backpack. A really sophisticated attacker might try a biological agent rather than a chemical agent, but in that case, you're way beyond what someone can cook up in a basement lab.

14 posted on 04/07/2006 7:32:58 AM PDT by Senator Bedfellow
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To: MedicalMess
Absolutely entirely FALSE! The number one cause of urinary tract infections is E. coli for which there is a really nasty drug-resistant strain running around the US. There are any number of other infections in the urinary tracts a people. Chlamydia Trachomatis (sexually transmitted) can be spread to the respiratory tract by ingestion. The list of infections that thrive in urine is incredibly long and would require several months of research just to find the bulk of know sources.

Whoa; calm down. Your assumption seems to be that the kids had UTI's. My point was that normally, urine is sterile. You wouldn't expect an adolescent male to have a UTI (not saying it can't happen, but it's very low on the probability list).

15 posted on 04/07/2006 7:37:11 AM PDT by Born Conservative (Chronic Positivity - http://jsher.livejournal.com/)
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To: rock58seg

Is the water kept in the tanks sterile? Is the water totally isolated from micro-organisms? Do your think that 300-400cc of urine in a 1.3 million gallon tank (even if the urine was infected), would contaminate the water supply?

There's probably more urine (on a percentage basis) in the public swimming pool than in this tank (and some people do inadvertantly swallow pool water). Aside from that, my original point is that it sounded as though they defecated in the tank; E. Coli is a common organism in feces and shouldn't normally be in urine.


16 posted on 04/07/2006 7:42:51 AM PDT by Born Conservative (Chronic Positivity - http://jsher.livejournal.com/)
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To: Panerai

Send them to Malaysia for a good caning.


17 posted on 04/07/2006 7:46:08 AM PDT by Shanda
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To: Panerai

Now if only they were Mexican, here illegally, they could walk off scott-free...


18 posted on 04/07/2006 7:50:38 AM PDT by Bean Counter (Hope Springs Eternal...)
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To: Panerai

"It does have a little 'wang' to it."


19 posted on 04/07/2006 7:52:25 AM PDT by dfwgator (Florida Gators - 2006 NCAA Men's Basketball Champions)
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To: Hillarys Gate Cult

Great to see another Hollywood Knight's fan. Still one of the funniest movies ever.


20 posted on 04/07/2006 7:53:08 AM PDT by dfwgator (Florida Gators - 2006 NCAA Men's Basketball Champions)
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To: Born Conservative; Senator Bedfellow
Most water systems are required to run a "free chlorine residual" of about 1 to 2 parts per million at the fathest reaches of their system. To achieve this they may need to run as high as 6 parts per million in their tanks.

Free Chlorine is that chlorine which is still active after "demand dosages' have been met. Technically it is assumed that all water has some organic contaminants. Chlorine "burns" up those contaminants. If only enough is used to do this, the water can form trihalomethanes. (which is what you smell when you think drinking water has been overchlorinated, actually it has not enough) At this point (break even) you add additional chlorine to prevent this.

Now then I am about five years out of date, due to retirement,and the methods of ultraviolet and reverse osmosis, are newer than my education.

The only point I was trying to make is that it takes a lot more effort than peeing or taking a dump in the holding tank to make water a water system unsafe.

Senator Bedfellows numbers are more descriptive than my own.

Now for an "Urban Legend" that is alluded to in water classes throughout the State of Texas. Near a large University somewhere East of Austin, during an inspection of the interior of an elevated storage tank belonging to a municpality, it was found one of the interior walkways was furnished with a small sofa and several cases of empty beer cans. Draw your own conclusions, and remember it's only a rumor from a long time ago.

21 posted on 04/07/2006 10:34:28 AM PDT by rock58seg (Republicans on ports,As funny as Democrats pretending to know about Natl Security and quail hunting.)
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To: rock58seg
Near a large University somewhere East of Austin, during an inspection of the interior of an elevated storage tank belonging to a municpality, it was found one of the interior walkways was furnished with a small sofa and several cases of empty beer cans.

I conclude that I'm happy that I didn't attend this university. Mainly for the "ick" factor, if not heath concerns ;)

Anyway, you could probably engineer a biological agent that would survive chlorinated water systems - you'd probably start with a chlorine resistant strain of E. coli or Legionalla, or protozoans like Giardia or Cryptosporidium, and tweak them to increase their effects on humans. But again, this is beyond the ability of some guy working out of his basement - while it's probably doable, we're talking about large investments of time, money, equipment, and expertise to pull it off. Comparatively speaking, biological agents are much, much harder to produce than chemical agents. Hell, even nuclear weapons are probably somewhat easier to produce, since you at least have a sort of blueprint to work from with nukes.

22 posted on 04/07/2006 11:26:39 AM PDT by Senator Bedfellow
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To: Panerai

The worst part about this deal is that two kids were able to foil "security" measures.

Pure Foolishness.


23 posted on 04/07/2006 11:28:24 AM PDT by BlueStateDepression
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To: rock58seg
The only point I was trying to make is that it takes a lot more effort than peeing or taking a dump in the holding tank to make water a water system unsafe.

Sounds as if we are both "on the same page".

24 posted on 04/07/2006 12:49:34 PM PDT by Born Conservative (Chronic Positivity - http://jsher.livejournal.com/)
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To: Senator Bedfellow
There does already exist a chlorine resistant strain of pathogen..It encases itself with a chlorine resistant shell. (for want of a better description) Google "oocysts". They are however easily controlled with either ultraviolet or reverse osmosis and sometimes even just filtering... One of the reasons a lot of systems are going to hybrid systems of disinfection.
25 posted on 04/07/2006 10:01:09 PM PDT by rock58seg (Republicans on ports,As funny as Democrats pretending to know about Natl Security and quail hunting.)
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