San Francisco has come up with a creative solution against public urination.
The city’s Public Works Department tested a new paint that seems to be repelling any kind of liquid and they started painting the walls in areas where people usually tend to relieve themselves. If you dare pee on these walls, your urine will probably “bounce back” at you, as the spokeswomen from the city’s Public Works Department claims.
The idea for this paint came from Germany, where apparently it was already used in a nightclub district visited by millions of tourists who often urinate on the walls of buildings and clubs.
To face this problem, Hamburg’s IG St Pauli community group tried applying this paint, and they were more than happy with the results. But perhaps the best thing about it, as the group told BBC Newsbeat, is that the problem was somewhat solved and it got the “attention it deserves”.
The paint repels almost all liquids, as its producers claim, by creating an air barrier in front of the wall painted with it.
The name of the paint is completely appropriate for its function, as it is called Ultra-Ever Dry. The walls will stay dry, but if you dare pee on them – you won’t.
In neighborhoods where there are a lot of homeless people or where people just tend to urinate publically more often, San Francisco authorities painted nine walls to test the effectiveness of the paint. They also posted signs on those walls warning people not to urinate there, but to find a decent place to do so. In English, Chinese and Spanish, the sign says “Hold it! …seek relief in an appropriate place.”
This may actually affect people and prevent them from urinating wherever they feel like it, and they will consider other options.
Luckily, San Francisco officials did not just make it more difficult to urinate on the city’s walls without giving people an actual and appropriate place to relieve themselves without the risk of their pee bouncing back at them. San Francisco is getting more public toilets, so no one can say that their options are “limited”.
Unfortunately, not all people are decent and willing to seek a public toilet when they feel the need to relieve themselves. At least with these walls, as Rachel Gordon, a spokeswoman for the city’s Public Works Department says, people will “think twice next time about urinating in public”, once their urine ends up all over them because they failed to stay decent and decided to do it in public anyway, despite the warnings.
It seems that public urination is not uncommon in San Francisco. Many people living in normal neighborhoods have called the mentioned department asking for their alley and building walls to be painted with this special paint, thus preventing people from urinating on their property. This paint isn’t as cheap as regular paint, but according to Gordon, when you make all the calculations, it is much cheaper than having to clean the buildings and alleys and all the other areas soaked in urine. Especially considering that cleaning the areas is not a long-term solution.
Hopefully, this paint will help people gain consciousness about what is decent and what isn’t when it comes to urination outside of their homes. If not – it will at least be funny to see a guy covered in his own urine.