Blockheads jam loos

ANYONE needing the toilet in a hurry at Dianella Library has been out of luck with constant blockages and unacceptably long delays to get them fixed, library-goer Adrian Davies says.

Mr Davies tells us “there’s been an ongoing problem with the fact that the public toilets have been unavailable, caused by backflow of sewage not going through the sewer… that means the toilets don’t work, and if you do flush you get your own back, in a comedic sense.

“About four or five weeks ago we had a problem that took a week or more to get fixed.”

The repair seemed to be only temporary, Mr Davies says, and after a brief respite of flushing the toilets last week started showing signs of slow-flowing and were soon closed off again.

Mr Davies says library visitors have been directed to use the toilets at Dianella Plaza across the road, but that’s not tenable for people who urgently need a loo: “You’ve got elderly people going there and in need of the toilet. How they’re going to run quickly over to the Dianella Plaza eludes me … having to cross the road, you’re just setting yourself up for casualties,” he told the Voice.

We put his concerns to Stirling council and got a response back from a city spokesperson saying they were aware of the issues and have been working on them since early this year. They blamed sewer saboteurs. 

“Many of the recent issues have been as a direct result of inappropriate use of the facilities, and the City is disappointed that this amenity has required such frequent attention.

“Earlier this year the Dianella Library experienced several sewerage blockages, and upon investigation it was found that there was damage to the sewerage infrastructure, including damaged pipes from trees and portions of the pipe needing replacement.”

In April the council re-lined the damaged sections of pipe which seemed to address sewage overflow, but then:

“In August, further issues were reported and were found to be caused by the flushing of cloth, bandages, towels, hand towels and nappies down toilets, which has caused significant blockages and required multiple visits to make good.

“In response, the City has provided nappy and sanitary bins, removed paper towel dispensers and installed hand dryers, and will also install signage to remind users to flush only toilet paper.”

Mr Davies says more prompt and permanent fixes are required. He points out the library is “a public building that the City of Stirling own and control,” and under the Building Code they’re required to have working toilets.

“If you’ve got a picture theatre, if [the toilets] don’t work then they close the place down. So why are they treating their own selves differently, or giving themselves a leniency they wouldn’t give to other people?

“It needs to be properly addressed.”

by DAVID BELL

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