Urban Watershed


If you haven’t brushed up on your geography lately, a watershed is an area where runoff collects into streams that drain into a river basin or particular body of water. In this example of an urban watershed, it occurs in a corner of the parking structure under the stairs. The urine runoff from the walls, and dark corner, collect into streams that drain into a big barf basin that is replenished by people who drink too much alcohol, or people having withdrawals, or people walking by who puke from the rancid smell of the urine streams. I’ve read that urban watersheds such as this have become much more common in urban landscapes across the country.

33 thoughts on “Urban Watershed

  1. Just another reason I avoid parking structures whenever possible.
    Of course, even in Albuquerque it is not always possible. You always manage to make them…interesting. 🙂

    • Thanks, Susan. I don’t care much for them. I’ve had three cars ran into in parking structures over the past 10 years or so. That’s one reason I park on the top level where few people park.

    • Hi Holly. The city has increased police presence downtown, so we haven’t had as many people peeing, pooping and puking at the back door to our office, but the alleys, open stairwells, and any nooks or crannies in or around buildings that are not gated off, get to be disgusting areas.

  2. Eeeeuw!!!

    The parking garage company hasn’t forgotten about your lifetime ban. They simply need your business to help with the power wash expenses.

    • As I mentioned in an earlier blog, the parking department didn’t get the memo about me being banned.

      The city owns the garage, and they have a crew called Block by Block who are really good about cleaning up after people. I make a point of thanking them and telling them what a great job they do of cleaning up all the trash, pee and crap that people leave every night. They have a crap job, and they don’t get enough pay or appreciation for all the stuff they have to deal with daily.

      I just happen to get to work before the Block by Block staff do, so I see all the messes left over from the night before. I showed Bruce the watershed photo and a photo I took of trash strewn all over the entrance to the parking structure when I walked out of it a 7:00 am. He came in at 8:30 and said it was all cleaned up when he walked out of the structure.

  3. You have inspired me to check out a random Nottingham parking lot, camera in hand, Tim!
    Mind you, I might get turned out again, with no longer having a vehicle and barred medically from driving. The three-wheeler walking guide may fool Security temporarily? Hehe!
    I waffled on there, sorry, Tim.

  4. Lots of urine watersheds in Toronto, along with barf basins and who knows what else.
    We also have needlesheds, unfortunately.
    Meanwhile, the shop next door has been empty for 2 years. Homeless keep moving onto the step. It’s been an endless parade of squatters. I guess that’s humanshed.

    • Hi Michelle. Consider yourself lucky. When we lived in Madrid, Spain, I often walked home from a lesson, practice or performing early on Saturday and Sunday mornings. I walked by a small park on the way home that had hundreds of teenagers gathered in the park drinking. There were no restrooms, so the boys peed on the walls and in doorways, and the girls squatted between cars and in doorways to pee. There were so many kids peeing, the sidewalk was a river of urine. I had to walk in the middle of the street to stay out of the pee. At daybreak every morning, maintenance workers hosed down the sidewalks and sides of buildings with fire hoses.

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