Boise & Garden City

Boise to install toilets at Table Rock trailhead

This aerial photo shows the location of two vault toilets the city of Boise is installing at the Table Rock recreation area’s trailhead.
This aerial photo shows the location of two vault toilets the city of Boise is installing at the Table Rock recreation area’s trailhead.

At long last, people will have a place to relieve themselves before or after they hike the trails at Boise’s Table Rock recreation area.

The Boise City Council is set to approve an agreement Tuesday with the Idaho State Historical Society that will allow the city to build and maintain two vault toilets in the parking lot north of the Old Idaho Penitentiary, which the historical society owns.

Installation is scheduled for mid-May, said Sara Arkle, Boise’s Foothills and open space senior manager.

This project has been years in the making, Arkle said. In 2013, she said, the East End Neighborhood Association applied for a city grant to build the toilets. Since then, the city and historical society have worked to negotiate what ended up being a free easement to use the space in the Old Penitentiary’s parking lot. The cost of the project is approximately $35,000, Arkle said.

The toilets will be located above a hole in the ground that leads to a tank that will catch waste. Chemicals in the tank will cause some bio-degradation, Arkle said, and the waste periodically will be pumped out of the tank.

Table Rock is one of Boise’s most popular recreation areas. Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway said the lack of facilities at the trailhead has led to some complaints from the public, as have incidents in which people relieved themselves on the open ground.

“I have to tell you: People are so excited for this latrine,” Arkle said. “I’m getting calls of excitement.”

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