No, it’s not a commercial about laxatives…. 😉
As I beat my head against the wall, trying to get someone, ANYONE?, to insist that restrooms be available 24/7 for the existing Gun Lake Landing 20-slip marina (and its proposed expansion to 54 slips) – it got me thinking about restrooms and how critical they are in our lives.
Can you imagine taking the family to Cedar Point for the day – and finding out there are no restrooms?! How about a visit to the zoo, or museum, or concert, or sporting event with no restroom facilities? How would you feel about letting your children play in the water at a beach if there were no restrooms?? (Did you just have an “eeeuwww” reaction? I did.) Public restrooms keep our world clean, and safe from pathogens* (see below).
REAL marinas have restrooms. Hubby and I kept a 26′ sailboat at Eldean’s Marina in Holland for a few years – the restroom/shower facilities there were fantastic! I think it’s safe to say that all true public marinas offer restrooms for their boaters – it’s a no-brainer: the marina is going to smell like a cesspool if they don’t. They also offer “Sanitary Pumpout” – most big boats have heads (“boaty” word for bathroom) with holding tanks. Even small boats carry portable toilets – heck, probably every pontoon manufacturer offers boats with “privacy nooks” for porta-potties/cassette toilets.
I remember going out on Gun Lake on my late father-in-law’s pontoon boat with the family. We would bring along a little potty-training chair for the toddlers, since the old boat had a whopping 25 hp motor and getting a tyke back to the cottage before there was an “accident” was pretty much impossible. Once we arrived at the cottage after a few hours of fun on the lake, the chair would be emptied into the toilet. Easy-peasy; we were just keeping the lake clean.
Sadly, most of the people renting slips at Gun Lake Landing, don’t have cottages/restrooms nearby. Where are they going to dump a porta-potty? Where can they use a restroom themselves? Ponder this math: 54 boats x 4 people per boat x 2 trips to the restroom in the course of a fun boating day = 432 bathroom visits per day (and that’s being conservative and assuming no beer is involved). It is absolutely WRONG to expect the local businesses to pick up this burden; and since 2 of the 3 businesses I’m thinking of are restaurants – there’s no way on Earth that someone could carry a porta-potty through the door (and I highly doubt the Marijuana Dispensary will throw open their doors). There is also no stipulation that the slip renters can’t stay overnight on their boats – I mean, LOTS of people do that in marinas, and pontoons with Camper Packages are seen frequently on our lake. Eventually, our local businesses close for the night. What do the slip renters do then??
We ALL know where the poo is going to go: our perfectly-clean lake. And that makes me insanely angry – and the neighbors near the marina, too. Their children and grandchildren play in the lake – they have enjoyed clean, safe water for decades (I have the water-test data to prove that). I’m sure the slip renters don’t want to willingly defile our water – but necessity is what it is. Besides, they don’t have to worry about a Brown Trout (I’m not talking fish here) washing up on their lakefront some morning.
And this isn’t something that can be passed off to the future. There are 20 boaters who need restrooms NOW; and children who will be playing in the lake.
*Pathogens: here’s a little “Cootie 101” for my new readers: We test for e-coli in water, because it’s the easiest, cheapest intestinal bacteria to test for. But where you find e-coli, you can be assured that its other intestinal pals are lurking, also: pathogens like Salmonella, Listeria, Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Heliobacter, Streptococci, Enterobacter, Shigella, Clostridium, etc etc etc. Some of these have the potential to kill; ALL of them can make you miserably sick. And once introduced into the water – they can live for anywhere from days to months – and THAT is why we regularly test our water and THAT is why I’m being so bullheaded about this restroom issue.