Utah State Capitol installs new toilet signs for tourists

Posted at 3:17 PM, Aug 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-01 20:41:00-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah State Capitol has installed new signs to show some tourists how to properly use a toilet.

The signs, which demonstrate how to sit on a toilet, are in response to some visitors who are not used to seated restroom facilities. Rachel Parkinson, visitor services manager for the Capitol Preservation Board, told FOX 13 they have had to replace a number of wall-mounted toilets because some people would climb up and squat on them.

A sign demonstrating the proper way to sit on a toilet at the Utah State Capitol. (Photo by Ben Winslow, FOX 13 News)

"Some of our visitors are accustomed to using facilities differently where they may stand or squat versus sit," she said. "It's really just a way to prevent further breaking or maintenance."

In Asia, the Middle East, Africa and some parts of eastern Europe, restroom facilities are designed for a person to squat over a toilet embedded in the floor.  Seated toilets are seen in western Europe and the Americas.

The U.S. National Park Service has similar signs in many of its bathroom facilities which provided an inspiration, Parkinson said.

"It's just a courtesy to share with our visitors so they understand how to use our facilities and prevent further breaking," she said.

The signs were installed within the past few weeks and have been shared on Facebook and Twitter by people who, ahem, "do business" on Capitol Hill.

A sign above a toilet in the Utah State Capitol to instruct visitors on how to properly sit. (Photo by Ben Winslow, FOX 13 News)

The signs are also an indicator the Utah State Capitol is becoming a bigger tourist stop. Every day, tour buses pull up and people flood into the building for a break as they go to either southern Utah, Las Vegas or Yellowstone. Pamphlets are printed in numerous languages and docents regularly give guided tours of the historic building.

"Tens of thousands and it just seems to be increasing," Parkinson said. "We are constantly in awe by the increasing number of visitors."