Have to pee? Dudes in San Francisco have been put on notice – pee-proof paint is now being used at various points throughout the Golden Gate City by city officials attempting to combat the dilemma of public urination. Ten walls in a nightclub district have been coated with a UV-coated, urine-repellent paint. The piss-poor problem now has a golden solution that backfires – literally – by peeing right back at ya.
Writes CNN: “Janitors everywhere are rejoicing. San Francisco city officials are implementing a new ‘pee-proof’ paint around the city to combat the persistent problem of public urination.”
City walls, soaked with urine on a nightly basis, are pissed off. So public works crews in San Fran have recently covered a number of exterior walls with the special coating, which is indistinguishable – until you splash it with a stream. The water instantly beads up and sprays the urine right back on a pee punk. Unsuspecting relief-seekers get a soaked shoe and a sample of their own briny discharge.
“We are piloting it to see if we can discourage people from peeing at many of our hot spots,” commented Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru. “Nobody wants to smell urine. We are trying different things to try to make San Francisco smell nice and look beautiful.”
Signs have been hung, but the snarky warnings don’t exactly explain the science behind the paint.
At the 16th Street Bart Plaza, a sign reads, “Hold it! This wall is not a public restroom. Please respect San Francisco and seek relief in an appropriate place.” If you fail to heed the signage, you’ll get a damp pant-leg.
Public urination in San Francisco, like many cities, is illegal, and fines start at $50 and top out at half a grand. But since cops don’t often catch the sprinklers, the rule is rarely enforced. City officials hope that news of the anti-pee paint has a “trickle down” effect, and that even if you have a public urination pass because you suffer from the grave condition of uromysotysis poisoning, you will think twice about whipping it out.
Adds the SF Gate: “Since January, there have been 375 requests to steam clean urine. They made up 5 percent of the 7,504 requests Public Works received, which cover everything from feces to pigeon droppings…The paint has proved to be effective in Europe. It was applied to walls in Hamburg’s St. Pauli quarter, where beer drinkers often can’t be bothered to find a bathroom. The experiment captured the attention of San Francisco officials.”
“Based on Hamburg, we know this pilot program is going to work,” Nuru said. “It will reduce the number of people using the walls. I really think it will deter them. 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.”
So how will officials know if it’s working? They plan to spot-check the walls, Nuru said.
“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.”
What do you think of San Francisco’s pee-proof paint?