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San Francisco BART Tackles Urine Problem With Bacteria-Eating Mist

They’re spraying it in elevator shafts once per hour.

The Civic Center BART station is working on its pee problem.

The Civic Center BART station is working on its pee problem. (Photo: Franco Folini/CC BY-SA 2.0)

Taking an elevator is a distinct sensory experience. There’s the gleam of the metal, the “ding” of the sliding doors, the lurch of being carried up and down. If you happen to be elevating yourself in a San Francisco BART station, there’s also the sharp, unmistakable scent of human urine.

In order to deal with this unique bouquet, BART has announced a new trick—a spray made up of a bacteria-eating enzyme, which will be misted into elevator shafts once per hour, SFGate reports. Trials of this “self flush and sanitizing system” will begin at Civic Center station, near City Hall; if all goes well, it will spread to additional stations downtown and in Oakland.

Out-of-place peeing is a problem in pretty much every city, but San Francisco has been hit particularly hard—last year, they introduced a urine-repellant paint that splashes the offending liquid onto the perpetrators shoes. BART elevators are such targets that crews are also replacing the wood and linoleum floors with epoxy-sealed ones for easier cleaning, says SFGate.

“They laid out the plan at a recent BART meeting under a slide titled ‘Dealing With The Smell,’ the outlet writes. Let’s hope these whiz kids know what they’re doing.

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