George Wolfberg Park Bathrooms Fixed: Sewer Line Blockage

Self-cleaning bathrooms are state-of-the-art in the George Wolfberg Park and have reopened.

The George Wolfberg bathrooms at Potrero are state-of-the-art. One presses a button to enter. A friendly voice tells a patron they have 10 minutes to finish their “business.”

The bathroom cleans itself after every 30 uses. There is a nozzle that sprays disinfectant water, followed by gusts of air to dry the interior.

The bathroom locks itself at night. There are automated toilet-paper dispensers (that will stop dispensing after about 10 squares). There is even piped-in music.

The bathrooms are handicapped accessible, and roomy enough that a caretaker can bring several children into the small room (not having to leave them alone outside).

It was really a pleasant public bathroom experience, but then the George Wolfberg Park bathrooms became inoperative at the beginning of July.

It was not until the end of November, that bathrooms were fixed and reopened.

CTN reached out to Councilmember Traci Park’s office to find out why it took so long for the repair. District Director Gabriela Medina worked with City Agencies to find an answer.

The City’s Bureau of Engineering (BOE), said that a blockage had been found in the sewer line, which is a lateral line that extends from the bathrooms to the base of the park by Pacific Coast Highway.

BOE told Medina that “This sewer lateral line only serves the park restrooms, is over 2,000 feet long, and is difficult to access with large equipment since lateral lines are serviced through 6-inch diameter sewer cleanouts rather than 4-ft diameter mainline sewer maintenance holes.”

To find the blockage, the Department of Recreation and Parks, BOE, and the Department of Sanitation all became involved.

The blockage was located about a thousand feet downslope of the restrooms.

Medina wrote in a November 30 email to CTN, “Several attempts by all three departments to clear the blockage using less-invasive water jetting techniques were unsuccessful.

“The clog was then referred to the BOE Emergency Sewers team,” Medina said. “Although this team typically only handles sewer mainline clogs within the public right of way, the team was successfully able to resolve the issue by procuring a contractor to trench excavate the area underneath the soil cement access road and remove and replace approximately 15 linear feet of impacted portion of sewer pipe to reopen the restrooms.”

Medina was asked what caused the clog and could it happen again? “Let me reach out to BOE,” she told CTN in a December 5 email. (When this editor receives an answer, the story will be updated.)

In the meantime, park goers, the bathrooms are clean and open. Enjoy the music.


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One Response to George Wolfberg Park Bathrooms Fixed: Sewer Line Blockage

  1. Tom says:

    I stumbled into a city inspector the other day on my bike ride and they said that one of the toilets is open now although I haven’t personally checked. They also said that the problem was a blockage caused by rocks and tennis balls. The blockage couldn’t be cleared by simple water jetting and it required excavation to clean it up. The problem was caused by a prank and not any failure of construction! Mind your naughty kids.

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