Pee-proof: San Francisco trials paint repels urine

Pee-proof: San Francisco trials paint that repels urine

3:59 AM, 29th July 2015
Pee-proof: San Francisco trials paint that repels urine
The new urine-repellent paint first received attention after being used by a community group in Germany.

SAN FRANCISCO, US: The city’s public works agency said it is testing a new urine-repellent paint in areas popular with people looking to relieve themselves. Anyone choosing to use the treated walls as a toilet will see their urine “bounce back,” according to a spokeswoman for the agency.

The agency’s director got the idea after reading about the paint’s use in a nightclub district in Germany. Hamburg’s IG St Pauli community group turned to the paint to cope with a problem brought by the 20 million tourists that visit the district every year.

In March, they told the news agency that the paint seemed to be working and the problem was finally getting “The attention it deserves.”

The paint, called Ultra-Ever Dry, creates a barrier of air in front of the surface that will “Completely repel almost any liquid,” according to its makers - Ultratech International Inc.

A superhydrophobic and oleophobic (hydrocarbons) coating, Ultra-Ever Dry, will repel most water-based and some oil-based liquids. It 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 liquids unlike any other coating, the company said.

On similar lines, in a trial project, San Francisco authorities have painted nine walls in areas close to bars and in neighbourhoods with large homeless populations.

Signs posted on the walls, written in English, Chinese and Spanish say: “Hold it! ... seek relief in an appropriate place.”

“The idea is they will think twice next time about urinating in public,” said Rachel Gordon, a spokeswoman for the city’s public works department.

“We’ve gotten many, many calls from people who wanted it done in their alley or on their buildings,” Gordon said.

She said the cost of painting the walls is much lower than sending out workers to clean areas saturated with urine.

More public toilets were also planned across the city, she added.

© BBC News

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