The two state-of-the-art bathrooms installed at the base of the George Wolfberg Park at Potrero are self-cleaning, but have been closed since the beginning of July.
Before the installation in the Palisades, the EXELOO models were first tried in August 2019 at the North Hollywood Recreation Center.
The bathrooms had automated toilet-paper dispensers with a limit on how much was dispensed. The bathrooms also had “mood-setting” music and were ADA accessible.
Sliding metal doors opened with the push of a button. One of the key features to the bathroom is that it cleans itself.
A door shuts after 30 uses, then a nozzle near the floor will spray out disinfectant water, followed by a gust of air whooshing out to blast the floor dry. In several 2019 stories about the bathrooms, the cost for two restrooms was given as $185,000, which was said to be a slightly higher fee than a standard restroom.
The Palisades bathroom was lovely and lived up to the “hype,” but they were closed in July. Anyone wanting to transverse the Wolfberg Park now has to use one of the two porta-potties placed by the tennis courts.
CTN reached out to Rec and Parks to ask about the bathrooms and wondered if they were on the same sewer line as the Rec Center, which has had issues in the past, and if that was the issue.
“No, they are not [on the same line],” Rec and Parks General Manager Jimmy Kim said, and explained that the new sewer line from the bathrooms goes directly down the Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon towards a main sewer line on PCH. “It does not drain back to the Rec Center.”
Kim acknowledged that “RAP is aware that there have been problems with the plumbing at the Rec Center. Sewage backed up one time a few years back and went on the gym floor.”
Kim said that was an isolated incident and that it was due to excessive tree roots growing into the main sewer line. “The stoppage was successfully cleared, and the floor was repaired.” But he said those prior sewage problems have nothing to do with the current bathroom closures.
Kim was asked about a timeline for reopening the new bathrooms. “It is under the purview of Bureau of Engineering (BOE),” he said. “They are waiting on Sanitation to perform repairs to the main sewer line from the Wolfberg to PCH.”
Councilmember Traci Parks District Director Gabriela Medina wrote Pacific Palisades Community Council President Maryam Zar on September 13, “Sanitation couldn’t complete the work, so they referred it to the BOE sewer group, who is working on timeline and funding to complete the job. They look to secure funding, probably in the next two weeks or so, and then the City will issue a work order.
“CD11 estimates this all might take another month,” Zar told CTN in a September 12 email.