The Cambrian

Hearst Castle restrooms to be closed to save water

Hearst Castle’s Neptune Pool is no longer being filled in an effort to save water. The shallow end of the pool had dipped below the ladder in January 2014.
Hearst Castle’s Neptune Pool is no longer being filled in an effort to save water. The shallow end of the pool had dipped below the ladder in January 2014. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Beginning July 7, restrooms at the Hearst Castle Visitor Center will be closed and 38 chemical toilets installed, including six designed for those with disabilities. At least six exterior hand sanitizer stations will also be set up.

The move was expected as one of several additional measures designed to conserve water statewide.

Chemical toilets are already in use at the Castle’s hilltop, and water from its iconic Neptune Pool has been drained to irrigate plantings there. Together, these measures are expected to reduce water usage in the areas by 40 percent to 50 percent, the state said in a news release Wednesday.

In March, the state closed restrooms in the Washburn, Santa Rosa Creek and Leffingwell day-use areas and installed chemical toilets there, and the San Simeon campground stopped offering showers to visitors.

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