Restrooms in Boulder and Denver…No, Seriously

Travel Tips — By Jess Steinitz on November 6, 2010 at 1:03 am

Perhaps this is because Boulder is a relatively affluent town, but restrooms are fairly easy to find in this town. Most restaurants and stores will either have a restroom available for public use — even if you’re not a paying customer — or they’ll know right away where there is one nearby.

If you’re on the Pearl Street Mall, there is an official public restroom located just next to the Boulder Café on the 1300 block of the Mall. There are even public restrooms located near popular hiking areas, like up Flagstaff Mountain.

Most toilets in Boulder are the standard, Western-style ones and restrooms are usually fully stocked with toilet paper and soap. Some bathrooms are more exciting than others, however, such as this one with a beautiful mosaic, found inside Sun Deli.

Sun Deli Restroom

There are a few toilet variations found around town that help reduce fresh water waste. The first is the dual-flush toilet, which allows for a “light” flush and a “heavy” flush, based on whichever you deem necessary. The University of Colorado has installed these toilets in several of their buildings to reduce their water usage, where pushing the lever up is for “light” and down is for “heavy.”

The most interesting and unusual toilet in this area can be found at the Mercury Café in Denver. In fact, the toilet is standard, but the back of the toilet is different in that it contains a sink. The sinks replace the traditional toilet lid and when you flush the toilet, the clean water that would go straight into the toilet bowl is first routed up through a spigot to dispense water for hand washing. The sink then shuts off automatically when the toilet has been filled and two gallons of clean water per person are saved every day.

Toilet Lid with Sink

Using the restroom in Boulder is probably about the same as using it anywhere else in the United States, except that you’ll probably be drinking more water here because of the dryness and the altitude, so you might find that you get a more thorough tour of Boulder’s restrooms than you’d expected.

Lastly, it should be noted that rumors exist alleging that you can pee on the Continental Divide and it will flow in both directions. This claim has not yet been verified by NileGuide.

[Photos courtesy of Jess Steinitz and MetaEfficient]

Tags: bathroom, restroom, toilet