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SeaWorld adding new bathroom system to save water

SAN DIEGO ( CBS 8 ) - Sea World is now incorporating saltwater into its restrooms to help conserve water.CBS News 8's Jeff Zevely has more information in this video report.

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - SeaWorld is doing its part to conserve water during California's drought with a concept you may have never seen or heard of -- saltwater restrooms.

What starts out as seawater in Mission Bay has been filtered, chlorinated and pumped into Shamu Stadium for years, so SeaWorld figured, why not tap into that same system to help fight the drought? 

"It's a really big deal to us here. It's 1.3 million gallons of water saved -- that's especially important during the severe drought here in California," SeaWorld San Diego Park President John Reilly said.

The new saltwater bathrooms will feature 21 urinals and 34 toilets. 

"The new facility that's under construction will open this spring, and we have a second facility that's under planning and development right now," Reilly said.

SeaWorld believes the facilities be the first saltwater bathrooms built on mainland California.

The fallout from the documentary "Blackfish" has hurt the park's attendance, as well as the company's stock price. We asked SeaWorld officials if saltwater bathrooms are part of a new public awareness campaign.

"This is part of an ongoing conservation effort that SeaWorld's undertaken for several years on water conservation," Reilly said.

Reilly says SeaWorld has already been saving millions of gallons of water for years with drought-tolerant plants and sprinkler heads. The park also invested in a new high-pressure scrubber that deep-cleans sidewalks and cuts down on the wasteful method of spraying concrete down with hoses. 

As for the saltwater toilets, we asked if they'll flush or smell any different from freshwater ones.

"Absolutely not," a worker said. "If we didn't tell you, you would not know it."

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