Winterthur council accused of shortcomings after placing urinals too high

Winterthur council accused of shortcomings after placing urinals too high

After the urinals at a public toilet in Winterthur, Canton Zurich were damaged by vandals, the local council (Gemeinde) decided to give the facilities a much-needed revamp. Unfortunately, getting the upgrade right the first time proved to be a tall order, with gentlemen shorter than 1,75 metres complaining that the new urinals are now too high to use.

Those under 1,75 metres tall can't use public toilet in Swiss city

In what sounds like an early Swiss April Fool’s joke, ZüriToday reported that the recent upgrades to one of Winterthur’s public toilets have sparked complaints among children and adults of shorter stature. The newly refurbished toilet on Obere Graben - one of the main streets in the old town of the city - had recently been damaged by vandals, necessitating the refurbishment.

However, many of those using the new lavatory for the first time had to stand on their tippy toes to receive any relief, as the newspaper found that anyone shorter than 1,80 metres tall couldn’t reach the bowl without some creative footwork. For those under 1,75 metres tall, many simply have to remain caught short.

Desperate citizens force Swiss city into action over urinals

According to ZüriToday, shorter gentlemen are having to urinate “in a high arc”, with one even bringing a stool from home to help them use the facilities. The most affected were children, with those asked calling for a shorter bowl to be installed alongside the new ones.

Interestingly, despite authorities confirming a few weeks ago that they weren’t planning to do anything about the high urinals, it seems the weight of public opinion has forced them to change tack. Lukas Mischler, the department secretary for the City of Winterthur, told ZüriToday that “the edge of the assembled product is too high. The drainage department is working with the supplier to find solutions and assumes that the defect will be remedied in the next few weeks.”

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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