Major city to test urine-proof paint that sprays back

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BYLINE: Sean Dowling

Anyone too lazy to find a restroom who decides to relieve themselves in Philadelphia's main transit system will soon get one heck of a wake up call -- their own stream, fired back at them.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority plans to test urine-repellent paint to tackle complaints of nasty subway smells and cleanliness.

A spokesman for SEPTA says trials are slated to begin in a couple weeks. The agency plans to use a product called Ultra-Ever Dry -- the same surface-coating paint used in public spaces in San Francisco and Hamburg, Germany -- to tackle the same problem.

The agency posted a video which shows when liquid, or in this case urine hits the paint, it makes the pee spray back on the perpetrator's shoes and pants instead of running down the surface.

SEPTA's plan comes a little over a year after San Francisco installed several urine-resistant walls around the city, and spent about $2 million after replacing all of the floorboards on 80 elevators of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system, equipping them with a bacteria-fighting misting system.

Philadelphia transit officials haven't decided where the urine-resistant coating will be applied -- in elevators or on the walls -- but are hopeful it has the same effect.

Public urination in Philadelphia is illegal and carries a $300 fine, but it hasn't stopped people from going, making it abundantly clear the subway system's number one problem is number one.

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