Work is about to start on a block of new eco-friendly toilets in Street.
On January 10, temporary toilets will be set up in the village’s Southside Car Park so that work can begin on building new facilities as part of a Mendip District Council make-over.
Street’s new toilets will be the final ones to be built by the council in a three-year programme to renew public conveniences in Mendip. Other new blocks, all designed by Interpublic Urban Systems Limited in partnership with the council, have been built in Wells, Shepton Mallet and Glastonbury while another set will soon be opened in Frome.
Mendip District Council’s asset maintenance officer, Stuart Finney, said: “One built-in environmental feature that the public may not notice is that the Street block stores rainwater from the roof in an underground tank.
“This is used for toilet flushing and cleaning purposes in order to save on mains water consumption.”
Providing work goes to plan, temporary toilets will be placed behind the existing block, while a fence is put around the whole site so that construction can begin.
The work is estimated to take 20 weeks, so that the new facilities can be opened in early June.
Cllr Alistair Glanvile, who is Mendip District Council’s portfolio holder for street and landscape, said: “Our toilets across Mendip are already winning awards for their design and quality of service, and I’m confident these new facilities in Street will help our trophy cabinet grow.
“Mendip District Council will continue to improve facilities for residents and visitors to ensure we boost the quality of life and ensure the district remains a prosperous area to live, work and visit.”
It is hoped that Street’s new toilets will follow in the successful footsteps of others in Mendip. Last month (December) Shepton’s new facilities in Commercial Road were voted best non-attended public toilets in England at the National Loo of the Year awards. Others in the district were given five and four star ratings.
Street’s new toilets will be one of three blocks in Mendip to use rainwater for flushing and cleaning. Others using the system are at Glastonbury and at the soon-to-be-opened Frome block.
The toilets have a permanent connection to a mains water supply, so that in the event of the rainwater tank becoming empty, for example during a long dry spell, the mains supply automatically operates.