Save water: Hearst Castle asks visitors to use porta-potties

June 30, 2015 | By | Comments (2)

Hearst Castle during flush times. Photo by Flickr user Anna Irene

Oh, this one certainly has a delicious irony: Hearst Castle, which has 61 bathrooms, will be asking visitors to use porta-potties in July.

The California Department of Parks and Recreation has announced that the restrooms at the Visitor Center in San Simeon will be closed for the month and visitors will be asked to use chemical toilets and hand-sanitizer stations as part of an effort to save water.

Symbolically, this is a loud statement about how serious the drought has become for California (and many of our neighboring states). But I have to wonder how much water gets used creating any kind of hand sanitizer or the chemicals for a porta-potty, and how much is used transporting them.


Hearst Castle used to be a watery showcase. Photo by Flickr user Bri.

One of my former bosses often said, “People spend too much time measuring effort instead of measuring results.” I wonder whether California’s park system is reducing, or growing, the water footprint of Hearst Castle by closing the bathrooms. Would it be ultimately more effective to further reduce the flow on the existing toilets and faucets?

Are there any other water-saving tactics that strike you as potentially counterproductive?


  1. lapearce

    Totally agree with Dylan. Hearst Castle uses private wells, this move is to protect their aquifers, not to save water for you and me.

    July 1, 2015 at 7:14 pm
  2. Dylan Robert

    Instead of wondering, why don’t you do the research yourself? This post is pointless.

    June 30, 2015 at 10:59 pm

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s