Nah — “plague” might be too strong of a word. So might “problem”. But apparently this is actually news …

Every winter — Nov. 1-April 1 — the bathrooms around White Rock Lake close for “winterization, so pipes don’t burst” (that includes many, but not all of the water fountains from what I can tell). As much as I use the trails at the lake, I never knew the specific closure schedule until I saw this gritty Fox 4 News report, in which a cameraman follows around some poor out-of-town couple in desperate search of a usable “loo”.

Portable potties are available, but not in great condition, judging from the horrified reaction of the aforementioned subjects.

Hint for those who can’t handle port-a potties: If you are on the south side of the lake, the 7-11 or Quick Trip on Garland are great pit-stop options. Duck into Doctor’s Hospital if you’re in a bind near the south side (should I be sharing that secret? Oh well … ). There aren’t too many options on the dog-park side of the lake unless you detour down Northwest to White Rock Coffee or one of the gas stations at the corner.

But I’m sure the portables aren’t that bad. During the report, workers showed up to clean them, which Park Department representatives say they do three times a week.