The city of Porthcawl, Wales, will install high-tech toilets with sensors designed to detect -- and put the kibosh on -- any untoward activities such as people having sex in them, The Guardian reported. If someone breaks the rules, they will get cold water sprayed on them.
The beachfront community of about 16,000 people wants to be an attractive place for residents and tourists alike, and that means, among other things, having clean and accessible public restrooms. Of course, for as long as public restrooms have been a thing, there have been people who use them for anything but doing what they were intended for. Homeless people sleep in them, vandals spray-paint them, drug abusers get their fix in them, lovers try to sneak in some extracurricular activities in private, and so on.
The Porthcawl loos are intended to address all of those problems. For example, the walls are spray paint-resistant. A timer will turn off the lights and switch off the heat if the sensors detect that someone is in there for too long -- for example, if a homeless person is sleeping inside.
And for the general purpose of keeping the toilets clean -- keeping public toilets clean is obviously no small task -- once a day, the toilets will be locked for 10 minutes while automatic scrubbers deep-clean them.
But the most attention-grabbing feature of the new toilets is their anti-sex features.The floors are weight-sensitive, so they will detect if more than one person is entering. Other sensors will pick up on any activity that triggers them as being "violent," according to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, ABC affiliate KCRG-TV. If that happens, the doors will open, alarms will sound and the occupants will be sprayed with cold water.
For what it's worth, the same deterrents will be employed if the system detects smoking inside the toilets as well, according to BBC News.
Town councilor Mike Clarke said that the high-tech toilets are part of an overall plan to spruce up the community.
"Rebuilding the public toilets is an important element of Porthcawl Town Council's ambition to ensure that Porthcawl is a great place to live, work and to visit," he said.
However, over on Twitter, some users aren't convinced that things have been fully thought through. One user, as quoted by The Guardian, noted that the weight-sensitive floors, designed to determine if more than one person is in the room, could keep larger people from using the restrooms for legitimate purposes.
"I'm easily the weight of two teenagers," they wrote.