SF Public Works resorting to posting "this wall is not a public restroom" signs pic.twitter.com/tu15An01K6— Eric Fischer (@enf) July 22, 2015
In an extremely narrow (but also awesomely prankish) victory against public urinators, the Department of Public Works has retaliated by painting a total of nine walls around San Francisco with a coating of paint that pees back, sending anything, er, squirted at it right back onto the legs of the perp himself. Though it sounds like something that DPW emailed itself late one night from BoingBoing, it's actually a coating technology that comes from Florida—of course—by way of Hamburg, where it met with success discouraging drunken revelers who seek relief in alleyways. The paint, known as Ultra-Ever Dry, works by altering the surface texture of the wall, forming patterns of geometric shapes whose pointiness sends water-based liquids shooting back toward the source, as the San Francisco Chronicle explains.
The nine walls, concentrated around the Mission and SoMa, with one stop in Chinatown and the Stockton Street Tunnel, are part of a pilot program to see how well the coating works as a deterrent. Ultra-Ever Dry costs a few hundred dollars per wall, which sounds like a lot, until you start to tally up the cost of sending out crews to steam-clean pee. According to the Chronicle, DPW has fielded 375 requests to remove urine only since January, accounting for 5 percent of all the requests it receives. For the pilot, crews will still have to go out in search of incidents, however.
"We will send people to see, visually, if there are any wet signs to indicate urination has happened," DPW director Mohammed Nuru told the Chronicle. "We will also use our natural nose to smell and see if urine is there."
If the coating is a success, the program may be extended. But in the meantime, the city's plein air ... devotees will only have about 10,999 other places to go.
· Department of Public Works to Test Wall Paint That Pees Back [Curbed SF]
· Pee On These SF Walls? Be Prepared for Them to Pee Back [SF Chronicle]