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Public restrooms shut down at Hearst Castle to save water

Flickr member Rick

The public restrooms at Hearst Castle State Park are shutting down for the summer in an effort to save water.

The drought has hit the north coast of San Luis Obispo County exceptionally hard as communities in the area are reliant on a single water source, groundwater.

State Parks spokeswoman Brooke Gutierrez says it's gotten very serious.

"We are literally running out of water up there, so in order to comply with the governor's executive order and our director's orders to reduce water and be a good partner in water conservation, we are bringing in our chemical toilets," said Gutierrez.

She says the switch over could reduce water consumption at the visitor center by roughly 40 to 50 percent.

No word at this point on whether the chemical toilets will be the new normal. The park service will study the situation to determine what makes the most sense, once rainfall levels on the Central Coast return to normal.

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