German city uses water-repellent paint to splash public
urinators with their own pee
Hamburg's nightclub district fights gross problem by giving public
urinators a taste of their own medicine.
By Lauren O'Neil, CBC News
06 March 2015
Reuters reported this week that a “local interest group” from the
renowned club-hopping neighbourhood has applied a special hydrophobic
paint to the walls of buildings in the area to deter what Germans call
This water-repellent paint, similar to the type that’s used to coat
cargo ships, will send any liquid bouncing straight back towards its
source with approximately the same amount of force that it came in with.
As you can imagine, urinating onto a wall covered in hydrophobic paint
makes for one very messy experience—which is exactly the point.
"This paint job sends a direct message back to perpetrators that their
wild urinating on this wall is not welcome," said Julia Staron of the
St. Pauli’s Community of Interest group to Reuters. "The paint protects
the buildings and the residents and most importantly it sends a signal
this behaviour is not on."
Walls that pee back on you — how poetic!” wrote one YouTube
commenter. “We need this all over the world!”
“Best use yet for superhydrophobic coatings yet,” wrote another.
“Guessing there are many neighborhoods near nightclub districts that
could use this.”
Some aren't fans of the initiative, however, saying that a better
solution would be to install more public toilets instead of using an
expensive substance to combat the problem (for the record, it costs
about €500 — or $684 CAD — to cover a six-square metre area with
Others point out that public urinators could simply “pee diagonally” to
avoid any splash-back.
This might work.