The above image, taken in a men’s bathroom at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, appeared in the Loop inbox Monday afternoon with this message:
“I’ve fought the urge to send this image to you and finally succumbed. I call it Military ‘Intelligence’ (with quotes) for obvious reasons. The sign above the toilet speaks for itself.”
It does, and yet we had so many questions. Do bathroom-goers normally contemplate drinking toilet water? Perhaps people regularly bring their dogs in the stalls? If it wasn’t rainwater, would it then be suitable for consumption?
Our curiosity took us to Ron Inman, spokesman for Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB), where Walter Reed is located. He explained that the rainwater is collected for the toilets and urinals across the campus as part of a larger energy conservation effort.
But why exactly do people on the Navy base require this warning not to drink it? (This is where we thought he might laugh, but he answered earnestly.)
“It’s out of an abundance of caution, would hate for a child or someone to drink the water and become ill,” Inman said. He reasoned the signs could be there as a warning to a parent.
Because unlike the toilet water at home…