Good Thinking

Hamburg walls use hydrophobic paint to pee back

Hamburg walls use hydrophobic ...
Walls in St. Pauli use technology to deter public urination
Walls in St. Pauli use technology to deter public urination
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St. Pauli has around 20 million visitors a year
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St. Pauli has around 20 million visitors a year
Walls in St. Pauli use technology to deter public urination
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Walls in St. Pauli use technology to deter public urination
The coating makes surfaces extremely hydrophobic
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The coating makes surfaces extremely hydrophobic
The pee-back wall in action
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The pee-back wall in action

Hamburg's St. Pauli is one of the world's most famous red light districts. It attracts around 20 million visitors a year, but it's also a bit smelly because, after a night on the tiles, a good number of those visitors urinate in public places. Now, in a fit of poetic justice, the walls of St. Pauli are being upgraded so they retaliate on micturators in kind.

Almost every major city has a problem with public urination, and party areas like St. Pauli can often seem so much like visiting the inside of a chamber pot. This is particularly distressing for the merchants and residents of the area who have to put up with the stains and smell of wee on a daily basis.

But now, according to Julia Staron of Interessengemeinschaft St Pauli (an interest group for companies and businesses based in St. Pauli), it's "pee-back time." Prohibitions and fines haven't worked very well, so the local authorities are giving chemistry a try. Walls in the district were sprayed with Ultra-Ever Dry super-hydrophobic, oleophobic nano-coating, which is so water (and pee) repellant that urinating on a treated surface becomes a shoe-wetting, trouser-soaking exercise.

The pee-back wall in action
The pee-back wall in action

If you are visiting St.Pauli and get caught short, the video below warns that not all treated walls have warning signs posted.

Source: St. Pauli Pinklet Zurück via St.Pauli Blog

St. Pauli pinkelt zurück // St. Pauli Peeback

14 comments
Daishi
I could swear this is what urinals have been designed with for years.
Juanjo
Sadly it is enough to apply some basic physics to avoid that back-pee. Of course I am not discussing it here.
dax
I see it is only English speakers who pee against German walls ....
owlbeyou
So the beer crew will just pee further from the walls. This is uncharacteristically not a good solution coming from Germans. They should just install troughs in the spots where most peeing activity takes place. Or lights. Men don't usually pee in lighted areas. Now how about a paint that makes removal of graffiti much easier?
Jitesh Naidoo
Achtung! Nicht pissen.
Michael Z. Williamson
Pee at an angle. Problem solved.
Charles Barnard
Not a great solution. Much better to put in more public restrooms or even outdoor urinals. First problem is that most of them are drunk, which means confused, aggressive and with muddled vision. Many wouldn't know that the wall peed back until the next day.
Lyle Bailey
why not add more public urinals?
sk8dad
Will this force pee-soaked visitors to take their liquid ejecta with them say on the subways, buses, and taxis to other parts of the city? That's much more appealing. A more entertaining solution would be to mildly electrify the walls. Perhaps city issued catheters with bags? On a serious note, everyone knows, when you gotta go, you gotta go, and no amount of dissuasion will make a lick of difference. As suggested earlier, plentiful access to urinals is the key.
Wolf0579
The grown-up word is urinate.