Pee-proof paint is being used by city officials in San Francisco FoxCT.com reported Sunday. San Francisco public works employees have painted 10 walls in the city with a special UV-coated, urine-repellent paint, KPIX reports.
The city’s Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru says he got the idea from a project in Hamburg, Germany, where walls in a night club district were coated with the urine-repellent paint. The paint is designed to repel all liquids.
“We are piloting it to see if we can discourage people from peeing at many of our hot spots,” Nuru told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Nobody wants to smell urine. We are trying different things to try to make San Francisco smell nice and look beautiful.”
“Watch your shoes over there, brother,” Nuru added, as he sprayed water from a plastic bottle against the pee-proof wall. The water splashed right back, soaking the bottom of his pants. “The team that did the testing, they were excited because the liquid bounces back more than we thought it would. Anything we can do to deter people is a good thing.”
If someone urinates on a wall this is coated by the special “super hydrophobic” paint, the urine will spray back at the person who is urinating, potentially hitting his clothes or shoes.
Public urination and homelessness has been a persistent problem in San Francisco for decades. The city passed legislation banning public urination in 2002 imposing a $50 to $100 fine for offenders, but it has done little good
This year alone, Public Works has had about 375 requests to steam clean urine from city streets. City officials hope that the new “pee-proof” paint will help cut down on the problem.
Other cities have experience public urination, of course. Last year, Hong Kongers and Chinese tourists nearly came to blows after a Chinese toddler was filmed urinating on a Hong Kong city street. The video went viral and caused public outrage and a debate over the importance of cleanliness in Hong Kong.
Six years ago, the Indian capital of New Delhi launched a campaign to discourage urinating in public areas by displaying large billboards aimed at halting the disgusting practice of urinating in public.
Nuru noted that the used of the pee-proof paint will strictly be a trial on the streets and public building of San Francisco.
“We will send people to see, visually, if there are any wet signs to indicate urination has happened,” he said. “We will also use our natural nose to smell and see if urine is there. If it seems to work, we will continue it after the pilot phase ends.”
San Francisco has long battled its overwhelming homeless problem. The homeless are being blamed for most of the problem of public urination but it is not limited to the homeless. Whether the pee-proof paint will help cut down on the problem of public urination remains to be seen, but undoubtedly the homeless problem will continue until the city’s power structure changes its approach.