That Sinking Feeling

Fig.1. Highly accurate render of a public bathroom, where the tap is disproportionately tiny to the sink.

Lets just take a few moments to talk about giant sinks with short taps, specifically, why the actual fuck they exist. They seem to be a particular favourite in dodgy train station bathrooms where mirrors, lighting and a cleaning schedules are considered a danger to us frequent urinators.

Typically, you have an enormous sink, with an itty bitty tap. This is illustrated in diagram 1.

Besides being aesthetically absurd – like those body builders who clearly skipped head day – the practicality of using these taps is frustrating at best, and impossible at worst. The water flow is usually weaker than my husband’s excuses and narrower than a right-winger’s mind. All lathered up, you must somehow rinse your hands in the millimeters of flowing water cleared from the edge of the sink. This farce is illustrated in the cross section below.

Fig.2. Cross section of tiny tap water flow and how dumb it is.

Fig.2. Cross section of tiny tap water flow and how dumb it is.

Hand Hygiene Australia  provide very clear and helpful instructions on how to wash your hands (you can view and print the poster from here). You’ll notice that nowhere in the 11 steps is it advised to make intimate contact with the sink.

Why is this happening? How complicated is a standard bathroom design and installation that decisions like goddamn tap choice so poorly thought out? Why have all that empty bowl space but still have to wash your hands one finger at a time, palming the grotty sink edge like a young boy discovering himself?

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