BEPPLE – Is it too much to ask for clean washrooms at B.C.’s rest stops?

(Image: Nancy Bepple)

IT MIGHT BE called the throne, but it’s definitely not a palace.  When it comes to B.C. government rest stop washrooms, there’s sometimes a bit to be desired.

Outside of the Lower Mainland and the top of the Coquihalla, pit toilets are what awaits anyone unlucky enough to need relief on a B.C. road trip.

I suppose we should be happy that there are facilities provided at all. During the COVID shut down, when restaurants were shuttered, it was one of the only options. Even without the COVID lockdown, it’s often the only option for many miles. For example, last winter, there were no businesses  open on the stretch from Monte Creek to Vernon. The only option was a government rest stop.

Regardless of whether restaurants or gas stations being available, what’s the point of providing a service that is so disgusting that one shudders at the thought of using it? I can’t imagine having a small child or elderly relative using a B.C. government latrine. And those are some who might most need to use a rest stop biffy.

Some might smirk because they have never needed to use a rest stop loo. Lucky them.  Others might simply say to drive to the next town and use the facilities of a business. Lucky those who can drive the additional hour down the road.

For the rest of us, at one time or another, we’ve faced the daunting task of using a rest stop pit toilet. Somehow we survive it.

But the question is, when we expect high quality highways, including filled pot holes, working signs, and snow clearing, shouldn’t we get the same level of service for the most basic of facilities, the BC government pit toilet?

The B.C. government spends half a billion dollars a year on highway operations. A can or two of paint, an extra roll of toilet paper, or an extra cleaning wouldn’t break the bank. It wouldn’t break the bank, but it would give the people who drive the highways outside the Lower Mainland a little more dignity when they have no other place to go.

Nancy Bepple is a former City councillor of Kamloops with a strong interest in community building projects.

About Mel Rothenburger (8481 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

5 Comments on BEPPLE – Is it too much to ask for clean washrooms at B.C.’s rest stops?

  1. Beverley Campbell // July 19, 2020 at 11:27 AM // Reply

    If you have travelled in Washington State or Oregon, you will know the way they provide tourist facilities at a rest stop, flushies all and virtually as clean as you keep yours at home, please ask your question of them and find out how it is done, it is done and I for one am a gratified tourist,

  2. Most of these rest stops are disgustingly filthy and should simply be closed if the Province is not willing to keep them minimally clean. People are choosing to the area around these rest stops rather than step inside one and it is not pretty. They are truly an embarrassment for our Beautiful British Columbia.

  3. Andrena Blair // July 15, 2020 at 9:17 AM // Reply

    I agree they are disgusting ! It’s shameful !

  4. Dave Monsees // July 15, 2020 at 8:22 AM // Reply

    An accurate description and a valid complaint. They are so disgusting, that most me will just stand up and pee outside rather than spend any time looking down the filthy sxxt hole inside. This makes the added smell even more terrible. As a roadie for a few years, I carried a roll of paper towels to be sure I could insulate myself from the facilities inside….Is it highways that is falling down, or the contractor that takes on the cleanup, and their supervisor is getting fatter at their desk?

  5. It is disgusting for sure. I won’t stop at those stops. Slow down my liquid intake until I am closer to my destination. I usually am able to make it to the Summit rest stop. If they can have a proper bathroom facility at the Summit, why can they not have similar rest stops through out the province. I have travelled through the States as well with full washroom facilities and park like stops. I thought we were in Beautiful British Columbia. Improve the rest stop facilities. Thank you Nancy. One of my biggest pet peeves.

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