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Hearst Castle closes restrooms, brings in porta potties due to drought

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Posted at 12:55 PM, Jul 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-12 16:07:41-04

Visitors to Hearst Castle may notice some changes to the experience starting Wednesday, State Parks officials announced.

The restrooms at the Visitor Center will be closed and replaced with portable chemical toilets. Additionally, bus and vehicle washing will be put on hold and Visitor Center irrigation will stop.

The changes come as Hearst Castle faces limited water supply and the need to conserve water for fighting possible fires, Dan Falat, State Parks District Superintendent, explained in a release.

Officials say Hearst Castle was already operating under water restrictions in May to line up with its Drought Contingency Plan. Hearst Castle's gardens have been placed under restrictions that limit irrigation, ban new plants, add mulch, repair leaks and bring additional conservation rules.

State Parks says restrooms at Hearst Beach will also be replaced with portable toilets.

Tours will not be affected by the water cutbacks.

Hearst Castle was closed for more than two years before it reopened to visitors on May 11, 2022.