WESTERLY — Ill-timed plumbing problems combined with unseasonably warm weather that drew big beach crowds produced an unpleasant result Sunday at the Town Beach — an overtaxed portable toilet.
Town officials had hoped to open the restrooms at the beach pavilion for the weekend even though the beach does not officially open until this coming weekend. A plumber checked to ensure the facilities were in good working order early last week and officials say they working on Thursday, but on Friday the toilets failed leaving just a single portable toilet in the beach parking lot.
“Just like anybody else we have plumbing problems that are out of our control,” Town Manager J. Mark Rooney said.
Rooney said he was confident the restrooms would be operational by this weekend and additional portable toilets will be available if needed. The town does not usually staff the beach until the Thursday before Memorial Day, but Rooney said this year plans to start one day earlier on Wednesday.
One resident, Donald Liberatore, said the situation on Sunday was uncomfortable. A frequent visitor to the beach, Liberatore said he was there Sunday from about 2 to 5 p.m. when temperatures soared to the mid 80s at the beach and into the 90s in other parts of the state.
“There had to be a thousand people there. Everyone’s worried about contamination and bacteria and COVID…