In Brief

Pee-proof paint could dampen desperate Manchester drinkers

Hamburg has already trialled the high-tech nano-paint that repels liquids back onto late-night revellers

pee-proof.jpg

Manchester City Council is considering a new deterrent to stop people from urinating in public: pee-proof paint.

The high-tech substance was originally designed to help keep dirt off cars and will bounce back any liquids sprayed at it.

The 'Ultra-Ever Dry' paint has been trialled in the German city of Hamburg, where residents in the city's red-light district became fed up with late-night revellers weeing on their property and began painting the walls with the anti-pee paint.

Residents erected signs that read "do not pee here, we pee back", reports the Manchester Evening News.

The scheme is now being considered by cities elsewhere in the world, including in Australia as well as the UK. One Manchester city councillor, Kevin Peel, hopes to introduce it in the city's Northern Quarter.

Peel said: "I saw an article online that said Hamburg had purchased this kind of paint that bounces back.

"I don't quite understand the technicalities of it, but it's a serious issue in the city centre and I think it would be a useful thing to pick up. So I've asked trading services at the council to see whether it can be bought in the UK and how much it costs - and see if we can source it."

So how does it work?

Ultra-Ever Dry was developed by a company called UltraTech explains the Washington Post, and is both "hydrophobic and oleophobic" – resistant to water and oils.

The paint works by "creating a protective layer of air between the paint and environment" and was first debuted by car manufacturer Nissan in April last year. It means that liquids bounce straight back off the surface.

How does it stop people peeing?

Basically, anyone who takes a leak against the paint will find themselves showered in their own urine, as it bounces back off the wall and all over their legs and feet. Presumably deterrent enough, providing the culprit is sober enough to realise that the paint is there.

What are the drawbacks?

According to the MEN, cost may present a problem. The paper estimates that if the council were to try to cover just the bottom half-metre of one side of the Piccadilly Gardens wall in the centre of the city the cost would come to around £5,000.

Still, according to Reuters, the organiser of the project in Hamburg, Julia Staron said it was working. "If you compare the work involved for daily cleaning of the mess and the awful smell, as well as all the collateral damage involved, it has definitely been well worth it," she said.

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