City deals with public urination

City deals with public urination
Published: Jul. 27, 2015 at 7:50 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 28, 2015 at 4:11 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It was an idea that took hold in Hamburg, Germany, and now it's even being tested in San Francisco.  Applying liquid repellent paint to city buildings and streets in an effort to curb public urination.

While those two cities are far from Honolulu, business owners and city officials know the nuisance well.

"Once and a while we see a wet floor here and there and I need to clean it first before I do my job," said Peter Aquino of Honolulu Fitness Center.

Ross Sasamura, Director of the Department of Facilities Maintenance, laments.  "Public urination and defecation is always a big concern to us at the City."

Sasamura says the city spends $70,000 to $80,000 a year combating the issue.

"We actually use a product that dispenses ozonated water, and that water actually acts as a disinfectant and deodorant when applied," he said.

While the spot treatment is a reactive measure, the City is also proactive in defending structures against urine.

"We've applied different kinds of coatings to facilities that resist not only urine, not only feces, but dirt, water."

Aquino employed his own successful countermeasure--embarrassment.  "We pretty much put lights on at night so people don't go here anymore."

Of course--none of it would be necessary if people simply didn't go.

"We spend valuable government dollars protecting our facilities, protecting the public where people could really take matters into their own hands and just not do it," said Sasamura.

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