California's drought triggers state park bathroom, shower closures

California's drought is shutting down bathrooms and showers in state parks and campgrounds

California's drought is drying up water supplies at some of the state parks system's most popular sites, forcing closure of showers and bathrooms.

Restrooms with flush toilets at D.L. Bliss State Park at Lake Tahoe, the Hearst Castle visitor's center and Hearst San Simeon State Park have been closed and replaced with portable toilets and hand sanitizers, park system spokeswoman Vicky Waters said Friday.

Water shortages also shut down showers at D.L. Bliss, San Simeon and Portola Redwoods State Park, Waters said. 

The sanitation facilities are being sacrificed to preserve potable water for drinking at campgrounds and for firefighting, District Supt. Marilyn Linkem said. 

These parks, and others in the state system, get their water from creeks and springs. The spring at D.L. Bliss, which sees more than 12,000 campers a year, dropped just before the Fourth of July weekend. Campers were notified before they arrived of the closures and were understanding, Linkem said.

"It's pretty cold, but people jump in the lake," she said. "They're not happy but they're not surprised. They understand we have a drought."

Waters recommended visitors check the websites for their campgrounds to see if the water is holding up.

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