Press Club

County Working to Address Overflowing Portable Toilet at W-L Track

If you’re preparing to go for a run at the popular Washington-Liberty High School track be advised: you should probably use the bathroom before you go.

There is one public bathroom at the track, a portable facility at the south end of the track, but inside the plastic cage is a scene out of a nightmare.

An ARLnow reporter was sentenced to explore the lavatory, following a reader tip, and found the toilet overflowing, the plastic floor smeared with a mix of human feces and unidentifiable materials, and the filth visibly spilling out onto the ground below.

The black seat of the toilet, meanwhile, was crusted over with grime, and the reek inside the room was indescribably foul.

Staff at Washington-Liberty High School have reported the problem to Arlington County, officials said in an email obtained by ARLnow, because the lavatory is the responsibility of the Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation. A chart on the wall marking service done to the facility is, as one might expect, completely blank.

A tipster said that he witnessed a contractor for a portable toilet company try to access the bathroom, only to be stymied by the a locked gate. It’s a problem that W-L administrators say they have tried to address.

“We have reported this 3-4 times,” a school official said in an email to a resident. “The potties are placed there for public use of the track by Arlington Parks and Rec, not the school system. They have a key to the gate and are supposed to maintain it.”

After inquiries from ARLnow, a spokeswoman with the parks department said the situation is being addressed urgently.

“We have a contract to have the portable toilet cleaned on Tuesday and Thursday,” said DPR’s Susan Kalish. “We’ve notified the contractor of the issue and they are sending someone out immediately.”

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