Why aren’t the park restrooms open yet?

First, the answer to the question on many people’s minds: Restrooms in all city parks will be opened April 1. The “season” for unlocked restrooms in Elkins parks runs April through October.

Why do we wait until April 1?

These restrooms are unheated spaces, so during the off-season the water is turned off at the meter, the water lines are drained, and the drains are filled with antifreeze to prevent damage to the plumbing and fixtures. As a result, it’s not possible to easily open them up on a nice Saturday during the off season, then close them again.

Although Elkins sometimes gets periods of favorable weather before April or after October, it’s too unreliable to count on. But by April 1, we can be pretty sure we’re done with winter–or with the risk of pipe-bursting freezes,  at least. As a result, the Elkins Parks and Recreation Commission (which has only two year-round employees) budgets for seasonal staff members (who, among other duties, clean, maintain, and lock/unlock restrooms) only for April through October.

That’s why the parks bathrooms won’t be open until April 1.

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