Urine-Repellant Paint Tested in Philadelphia

Photo: Dylan T. Moore / Flickr

PHILADELPHIA – The city’s main transit agency plans to try urine-repelling paint to combat smells and complaints about cleanliness.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority will run a trial this fall of a product called Ultra-Ever Dry, a surface coating that makes urine spray back on the offender.

SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch said complaints are common for any large transit system. SEPTA’s maintenance crews are always looking for new ways to tackle cleanup issues aside from their regular cleaning routines, he said.

The coating has been used in public spaces in San Francisco and Hamburg, Germany.


“From what we’ve understood, it seems like there’s been some success (with the coating) so we are certainly willing to give this a try,” Busch said.

San Francisco’s public works department used the clear, liquid repellent on some of its city walls to fight a chronic public urination problem. A light pole corroded by urine fell on a car in San Francisco last year.

Public urination in Philadelphia, as in San Francisco, is illegal. The offense carries a USD$300 fine.


SEPTA officials haven’t decided whether they’ll coat elevators, which San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit agency did to 80 elevators last month, or try the repellent on walkways or walls.

The news website Billy Penn first reported the agency’s plans.

Busch said trial costs are minimal.