Fed-Up Town Makes Buildings Pee Back
Revelers with swollen bladders should be ready to wear what they relieve on the buildings of St. Pauli.
A water-repellant coating is helping the party district in Hamburg, Germany, pee back on those who treat building exteriors as public urinals.
St. Pauli hosts more than 20 million visitors each year, and far too many of them urinate in the street, residents complain.
Finally, members of a community group called IG St. Pauli decided to take matters into their own hands by coating selected walls with a superhydrophobic paint that splashes the pee back on the source.
"Prohibitions and fines do scarcely anything," a member of the group says. "So we decided to solve the problem our own way. Now, St. Pauli pees back."
The superhydrophobic and oleophobic paint, Ultra-Ever Dry, was introduced in February 2013 by UltraTech International of Jacksonville, FL. The product's video became an unexpected viral hit.
The company claims the barrier coating can completely repel almost any liquid. The company website says the product employs a "proprietary nanotechnology to coat an object and create a barrier of air on its surface."
Julia Staron, one of the St. Pauli group's organizers, told Reuters: "This paint job sends a direct message back to the perpetrators that their wild urinating on this wall is not welcome.
"The paint protects the buildings and the residents and, most importantly, it sends a signal this behavior is not on."
The paint is a bit pricey—about €500 ($551 USD) to coat 65 square feet—but the group says it is money well spent and has already shown benefits.
|Screen grab via IG St. Pauli YouTube video|
Before and after images show St. Pauli's experience with what one resident called "wild urinating" by visitors. "Prohibitions and fines do scarcely anything," another local said. "So we decided to solve the problem our own way. Now, St. Pauli pees back."
"If you compare the work involved for daily cleaning of the mess and the awful smell, as well as the collateral damage involved, it has definitely been well worth it," Staron said.
'We Pee Back!'
Some of the walls have signs warning of the consequences should one choose to relieve themselves there.
"Do not pee here! We pee back!" the signs say in German and English.
However, the group warns, some coated walls are unmarked. There, rogue urinaters pee at their own risk.