Drought means chemical toilets, no showers for North Coast campers

ktanner@thetribunenews.comMarch 21, 2014 

Hearst San Simeon State Park campground.

PATRICK S. PEMBERTON — ppemberton@thetribunenews.com

Campers can’t take showers and must use portable toilets on the North Coast of San Luis Obispo County as a result of the historic drought in California, and it’s only going to get harder throughout the worsening drought, according to State Park officials.

Until the drought eases, those camping at Hearst San Simeon State Park won’t have access to showers, and restrooms have been closed in the separate Washburn, Santa Rosa Creek and Leffingwell day-use areas, according to Nick Franco, superintendent of the San Luis Coastal state park district. Chemical toilets with exterior hand-sanitizer units have been placed in those day-use areas.

And, unless the area gets a lot of rain in the next month or so, which forecasters are saying is highly unlikely, more cutbacks are planned.

The stringent moves are designed to help meet the governor’s mandate to reduce water use in state facilities by 20 percent and a reduced allotment imposed by the Cambria Community Services District, based on last year’s use, Franco said. The district supplies water to the campground.

“These are challenging times for all Californians, where every drop of water counts,” said Anthony Jackson, State Parks director, in a news release. “Our parks are starting to take steps to conserve water while continuing to offer quality recreation.”

Statewide, all park units have been asked to reduce landscape irrigation by 20 percent, install water-conservation signs and notices inside state buildings and restrooms, accelerate replacement and upgrade of indoor plumbing fixtures and landscape irrigation and control equipment by January 2015. They’re also being required to replace or upgrade remaining, older, inefficient water-using cooling systems by January 2016.

The Tribune is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service