Share this story...
super toilets
Latest News

Dori: Seattle bringing back ‘super toilets’ — there’s money down the drain

Seattle wants to spend $550,000 to put a toilet like this in Ballard Commons Park. (KIRO 7)

Remember when the City of Seattle bought self-cleaning “super toilets” a few years ago that I predicted would be an absolute disaster? When San Francisco tried it, the super toilets became pods for prostitution and drug deals. I had San Franciscans on the show who told me what an absolute financial mess these toilets turned out to be.

I warned our civic leaders here in Seattle that this would be a fiscal fiasco if we tried it. But the City of Seattle did not listen to me, and invested in the toilets anyway. What happened? We lost tens of millions of dollars, and the city later ended up selling them on Ebay for pennies on the dollar — talk about money down the drain.

Now Seattle is going for a number-two with the toilets — Seattle Parks is going to spend $550,000 to put a public toilet in Ballard Commons Park.

Seattle already owns the land at Ballard Commons Park. You can build a 2,500 square-foot house with stainless steel appliances, with nice finishes, with three bathrooms, on land you already own, for about $500,000. But yet a single toilet in Ballard Commons Park costs $550,000.

The city says that these will not be like the disastrous super toilets of 2003. This permanent public toilet is apparently needed for health reasons. According to its promotional site, the toilet has a “sleek design” with “heavy-duty stainless steel,” an “anti-graffiti finish,” and “unique louvers.”  All for just $550,000.

So I will make the same prediction about toilet number-two that I made about toilet number-one. And yes, I am poo-pooing the whole idea.

RELATED: Seattle’s old ‘super toilets’ back on the market
RELATED: Poop in a public planter, get a city-subsidized apartment

Most Popular