Portland's 'Hydro Hogs' put in the spotlight

Portland's 'Hydro Hogs' put in the spotlight
PORTLAND, Ore. - Children splash in the stone-lined pool at Howard Hedinger's Portland home on a rare day in September with temperatures in the 90s, a perfect pool party opportunity. Kids from a local church are taking full advantage.

But according to the latest issue of Willamette Week, homeowner Howard Hedinger is taking full advantage of Oregon's wet reputation as well.

Hedinger is in the Number 2 spot of the weekly paper's annual list of top Portland residential water users, but the man who made his fortune in the steel industry and who is part owner of the Wildwood restaurant is unapologetic as he watches the kids splash in his small pool.

He says if there was a water shortage, he might dial back his water use on his large piece of property, which features lots of green grass and foliage and of course, a swimming pool.

Hedinger used over 900,000 gallons of water last year, but topping the list for users in Portland are Andrew and Tiffany Wiederhorn with over a million gallons used. They did not respond to interview requests.

Outside the metro area, Traci Parker got the top spot in the annual Hydro Hogs ratings. She poured 1.7 million gallons onto the land around her home. On average, her water bill was nearly $700 a month.

Parker lives in the Dunthorpe area and her home sits on over four acres of land, most of which is covered with green grass.

She also did not respond to interview requests for KATU or Willamette Week.

To get the full story, go to Willamette Week's Web site.