Despite the lack of privacy the new Dutch public urinals being used as a test during Rio's Carnaval seem to have pleased Cariocas and they should return in bigger quantity next year. The modules, which leave exposed most of the person using it, can accommodate four men at the same time.
They are being called mijódromos (peedromes) by Rio's mayor Eduardo Paes. Some men feel embarrassed to use them but they have been busy all the time. And they beat having to wait in long lines or pee on the street, something that can land you in jail.
Only 30 of the devices were installed this Carnaval. They were offered for free by Patent7000, the Dutch company that manufactures them. The model being tested in Rio is called Kros.
According to Riotur, Rio's tourism authority, the devices were place in the Sambadrome and in Ipanema. The collective urinals hold up to 450 liters (119 gallons) of urine with no added chemicals.
It has been mostly thumbs up for what is being called by some live pee. Rio's daily O Dia quoted military man Hugo Leonardo praising the contraption: "I've been there three times and didn't have to wait in line. The chemical toilets are hot and smell really bad."
Student Felipe War, 22, was also enthusiastic about the novelty: "It is simpler, requires less time and free the chemical toilets for women," he comments.
Not everybody approves of the new peedromes though. Some people cannot accept that the places don't have a door and they feel quite inhibited. "I spent a long time trying to concentrate because everyone is looking at you," said a user that wouldn't give his name.
A woman while waiting for her boyfriend using the urinal also criticized the lack of privacy: "Everyone can see that he's peeing," she complained.
Rio's Pee Patrol continued to arrest people who decide to relieve themselves on the street. Just yesterday 41 people were detained and booked for obscenity, among them 4 women. The arrests took place in Lapa, Leblon, Ipanema and Botafogo, according to the Secretariat of Public Order (SEOP). Since Friday, the first day of Carnaval, 172 people were arrested for using the street as toilet.
Patent7000 is being making the Kros in Brazil to sell it in Latin America. The company presents its product as a "plastic (polyethylene) urinal unit with an integrated tank with a volume of 450 liters (about 1500 individual pees!). Thanks to its advanced design and minimal weight (only 85 kg - 187 lbs), the unit is easily installed and removed after use.
"Each Kros offers the facility for 4 men to urinate at the same time in an area of just 1.15m². The open character of the Kros is a deterrent to inappropriate behavior while the partition walls give sufficient privacy.
"The Kros can be installed anywhere where there is a need for an effective urinal. Usually, the Kros is used as a mobile urinal. This is because it is easily emptied using the normal service trucks owned by toilet hire firms."