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Here's how Costa Mesa is trying to handle its lack of public restrooms




A 'Spartan' style public restroom.
A 'Spartan' style public restroom.
via Flickr/Josh Puetz

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It's a painful part of life here in Southern California: Not enough public restrooms.

The region's growing homeless problem has only made it more obvious how much the region needs public facilities. The Orange County city of Costa Mesa is trying to address the problem.

Jim Ferryman is the vice president of the Costa Mesa Sanitary District and at the forefront of the movement to bring more public restrooms to the city. When he spoke to A Martinez, he explained there's no one-size-fits-all solution. Each area needs to be carefully evaluated to assess its most fitting solution.

Ferryman also shared a few frontrunner solutions to the problem.

1. 'Spartan' bathrooms

The most basic model being considered. This type of restroom discourages any type of nefarious behavior.

"It's kind of a U shape. You can see from a foot from the ground up and maybe a foot from the top down and the rest of it is enclosed, obviously. That's one type that we're looking at."

Ferryman added this might be the most affordable option.

2. Self-cleaning

This is probably the fancier of all the options and it's been implemented in cities like San Francisco and San Jose.

"They're kind of the top of the line. They're kind of half self-cleaning and they require some attendance and they cost over $100,000 to install and purchase and get it set up with the sewer and water. Might be a little aggressive for us. We just want to do a trial effort."

3. Mobile restrooms

The last option being considered is one that's been floated around even here in Los Angeles: a mobile unit.

"It has a couple of kind of, outhouses on it," Ferryman explained, "You can haul it around from location to location."

Ferryman mused, that perhaps combining the different options like a mobile bathroom and a "spartan" model would be a viable option as well.

To hear more about the movement to bring more public restrooms and the situation specifically in Costa Mesa, click the blue play button above.