Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Big news for biffies

When you gotta go, you gotta go, right? So I was thrown off by this sign at the Crescent Lake Campground, off the North Shore up the Sawbill Trail, a few weeks back.

How exactly do you close an outhouse? The door was literally screwed shut. Someone meant business; I wasn't doing my business there.

A few days later, a friend told me he saw a huge outhouse doing 60 mph on Highway 61, headed up the shore. Smelling a story, I wrote to the Superior National Forest and received a courteous, detailed response.

It turns out that the RFA had identified the needs, and the LWCF funded the forest through the REA.

In regular language, they had to go. Bad.

The good folks at the Superior National Forest realized that their old outhouses were both falling apart and not ADA accessible. 25 new outhouses (excuse me, "toilets") are being installed in the western part of the Forest, including Crescent Lake and Sawbill Lake campgrounds.

We're getting the single-seater Gunnison...

And the two-holer Tioga...

Plus, you'll be pleased to know that these models have "Sweet Smelling Technology."

According to the manufacturer, CXT Concete Buildings,

The building is designed with sweet smelling technology in mind. A black plastic vent pipe, located on the back side of the building, always faces south. When heated by the sun, the pipe creates a continual air flow through louvered vents located in the building near the floor. The air flows down the riser, through the vault, and finally, up and out of the vent pipe. The positive continual air flow carries the vault air out through the vent pipe, not through the building.

These puppies can survive a category E earthquake, a 150-mph wind or a 350-pound per square foot snow load.

Check out the inside:

25 new outhouses (oops, "toilets"), installed and inspected, total cost about $750,000. That's 30K per pooper. It's money well spent. The toilets were manufactured in Texas, I think, but local contractors did the dirty work (imagine all the crap they had to deal with). The old outhouses were dark, full of flies, and you couldn't turn around without brushing elbows with some questionable mold-like substance on the walls. And I'm sure they had no sweet smelling technology.

So the deed is done. Wash your hands of the old, in with the new.

1 comment:

rootbeerlady said...

I'm pretty sure the toilet at the Knife River rest area has the sweet smelling technology. It seems to work great but be prepared for a breeze across your nether regions. An odd sensation but worth it for the resulting fresh-smelling facility.