Look, public urination is gross on many levels. Aside from people having to potentially witness the actual act, left behind is a wretched odor and unsightly stain that offends long after the deed is done.
In San Francisco, officials are sick and tired of your pee, so they’re doing something about it, using pee repellent paint.
This particular paint does more than just protect public walls from bodily fluids; it actually will splash the urine back on the offender.
Here is a demonstration, using a water bottle and (one hopes) water:
Testing out a new pee repellent that "pees back" to prevent public urination. pic.twitter.com/6eDJ4w9MWH
— SF Public Works (@sfpublicworks) July 23, 2015
“We are piloting it to see if we can discourage people from peeing at many of our hot spots,” Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Nobody wants to smell urine.”
You’re right — no one does!
Hamburg has had its own fair share of pee problems, so officials in the German city painted walls with pee repellent paint earlier this year. That inspired San Francisco officials to embark on their own pilot program, the Chronicle reported.
Here’s how the paint in Germany, developed by Nissan to keep cars clean, functions on the German walls:
The San Francisco paint, Ultra-Ever Dry, comes from a chemical cleanup company in Florida, which boasts:
Ultra-Ever Dry uses proprietary omniphobic technology to coat an object and create a surface chemistry and texture with patterns of geometric shapes that have “peaks” or “high points”. These high points repel water, some oils, wet concrete, and other liquids unlike any other coating.
So if you pee on a painted wall, the pee “will bounce back on your pants, and wet your pants. and hopefully that will send you a message and you won’t come back,” Nuru said, according to CBS affiliate KPIX.
San Francisco’s pee problem has loomed for some time; lawmakers passed legislation in 2002 banning the act, and an offense can carry $50 to $200 fines.
From the Chronicle:
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. Overall, steam cleaning requests have dropped 17 percent since last summer, largely thanks to the Pit Stop program that provides public rest rooms.
But public peeing remains an issue; the city spends $2 million a year to clean up all manner of bodily fluids, KPIX reported. Ten walls will receive the paint in San Francisco; more will be painted in August.
“Hopefully,” Nuru told KRON, “we can change the behavior of those who use the city streets for inappropriate activity.”
Good luck to you, sir.