SEPTA has been testing a urine-repellent spray in its train stations for almost a year, but don't be surprised that you haven't noticed. Riders still claim that the secret test stations smell like the men's room at the Linc after an Eagles overtime game. The situation remains fluid, and tests are continuing.
The transit agency would not reveal which stations have received the experimental treatment. But SEPTA told Billy Penn that odor complaints at those test stations have not declined during multiple months of testing.
The pee-repellent, as reported on Philly.com last September, is called Ultra-Ever Dry and has been used in public spaces in San Francisco and Hamburg, Germany. The product is not only supposed to sanitize the pee, it is supposed to cause the urine to splash back on the pee-petrator. (So perhaps the problem isn't that the repellent is failing to repel, but that people are remaining in the stations while covered in reflected pee?)
Here's a little about the science behind the product. Another secret formula had also been tested.
SEPTA spokesperson Kristin Mestre-Velez said SEPTA was not prepared to roll out the test to other stations at this time.
Mestre-Velez told Billy Penn that "at the moment, our best deterrent is bright lights, barriers and diligent cleaning…."
A similar product can also be used to repel graffiti.
As our offices sit directly above the SEPTA station at Eighth and Market Streets, we did our own sniff test this morning and found the station much more fresh-scented than usual. So, good job today, SEPTA.
But there's no doubt we still have a peeing problem, so we wrote a little rule to help you remember:
"If while waiting for the train
Your bladder messages your brain,
And stresses the need for urination,