Toilet water in Flushing is not pot(ty)able.
Signs put up in the restroom cubicles of the Queens Botanical Garden take the prize for stating the obvious: "Toilet water is not safe for drinking."
The messages hang over toilet bowls full of water that is often colored blue.
Usually, "the water that ends up in your toilet is the same water that comes out of the faucet or out of the shower head when you shower," and is drinkable, said Gennadyi Gurman, Queens Botanical Garden supervising museum instructor.
But in the Flushing attraction they use recycled water which, no matter how refreshing it looks, would also likely flush out your system.
Several years ago, when the garden decided to build its new visitors and administration building, it sought to make it as green as possible, Gurman said.
As a result, the LEED certified facility, which opened in 2007, included a toilet system that aims to conserve water.
Low-flow toilets, which use 1 to 1.6 gallons per flush as opposed to 6 to 10 gallons, were installed.
The garden also started to collect used water from its sinks, showers and dishwashers.
That water is then directed to a mini-wetland in the garden where fungi and bacteria break down detergents, soaps, fats, greases and food particulates, Gurman said. The plants that grow around the wetland, including beach rose and sweet flag, “treat this dirt as nutrients.”
The system also collects rainwater.
After the recycling process is complete, the water is dyed blue and reused for the toilet system.
Because it's not potable and has not been treated by facilities operated by the city's Department of Environmental Protection, the garden said it was required to install the signs.
The DEP did not return an email seeking comment.