Saturday, November 13, 2010

Rules in Chandler restrooms: don't drink from toilets

Mark Henle/ The Arizona Republic This is the sign inside the Men's Bathroom on the first floor of the Chandler City Hall tower.

I never thought I would see a sign like this.

Chandler's new City Hall comes with some features that have municipal workers and visitors scratching their heads. Like the restroom signs that tell people not to drink out of the urinals and toilets.

And the lights that shut off when nobody flips a switch.

A few employees have been cracking jokes and speculating about what it would take to make them slurp from potties when water fountains and sinks are a few feet away.

"I'm glad that I saw that sign because I was very thirsty and looking for a means to quench my thirst," Mayor Boyd Dunn quipped. "Seriously, I'm certain there's some regulation out there that requires that type of sign."

It's possible.

The environmentally-friendly five-story building uses recycled gray water from its cooling system to flush the urinals and toilets. The notices disclose that. "There's a lot in this building that's so new and different; it's exciting stuff," Dunn said. As an aside, he said his private mayor's office restroom doesn't have a don't-drink-out-of-the-toilet sign.

City spokesman Craig Younger said the city had to get a building code variance not to color the reused water and post the signs instead.

Workers also are getting used to the building's energy-saving "light harvesting system." It's set up with light and motion sensors so if there's enough illumination from the sun or if offices and meeting rooms are empty they shut off. Marian Norris, assistant to the city manager, said the motion detector shutoffs save energy by extinguishing lights when workers leave their offices and forget to flip the switch. But crews are adjusting the system because it has been shutting off lights when people are working but are too still. That happened during a recent City Council subcommittee meeting that prompted one official to jump out of his chair and walk briskly around the table just to bring the lights back.

The new building and all its features will be dedicated by Dunn on Monday before the first City Council meeting there. Free refreshments and entertainment from 5 to 7 p.m. will proceed the formal session.

by Edythe Jensen The Arizona Republic Nov. 10, 2010 06:01 PM

Rules in Chandler restrooms: don't drink from toilets

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