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City coats walls with 'pee-proof' paint
01:23 - Source: KPIX

Story highlights

San Francisco started using "pee-proof" paint on its city walls

City officials hope the paint will combat the city's public urination problem

The project was inspired by a German city using the same tactics

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.

Public Works crews have painted 10 walls in the city with a special UV-coated, urine-repellent paint, according to CNN affiliate KPIX.

Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru was inspired by a project in Hamburg, Germany, where walls in a night club district were coated with the liquid-repellent paint.

If an offender tries to urinate on a wall coated with the super hydrophobic paint, the urine, instead of running down the wall, will spray back at the person relieving himself, potentially hitting his clothes or shoes.

Public urination has been a chronic issue in San Francisco for a long time. In 2002, the city passed legislation banning public urination and imposing a $50 to $100 fine for offenders, but the ban has had little to no impact on the problem.

Since the beginning of January, Public Works has had about 375 requests to steam clean urine from various areas in the city. The hope is that the new “pee-proof” paint will help quell some of the city’s hottest urinating zones.

San Francisco’s public urination problem is not unique to that city alone. Last year, Hong Kongers and Chinese tourists nearly clashed after a Chinese toddler was filmed urinating on a Hong Kong city street. The video went viral and caused public outrage in the region.

And in 2009, the Indian capital of New Delhi launched a campaign to discourage urinating in public areas by displaying large billboards along the city’s dense roads.