Nearly 100 commercial, educational, and government building facility managers, who have installed waterless or no-water urinal systems in their facilities, were asked their thoughts on waterless or no-flush urinals. "This is one of the few surveys taken on the subject," says Klaus Reichardt, founder and managing partner of Waterless Co. LLC, the oldest U.S. manufacturer of waterless urinals. "However, with the growing interest in Greening building operations, the systems are becoming quite common and are now found in many locations."
As to overall opinions, when asked if they had a choice between installing conventional or waterless urinals again, 60 percent indicated they would install waterless urinals. Twenty percent reported they would return to conventional urinals and another 20 percent noted they were unsure which they would select.
When asked why they installed a waterless system in the first place, more than 40 percent indicated it was because of "environmental awareness." Thirty percent reported it was because of escalating water and sewer costs, while the rest hoped the waterless systems could help reduce restroom odors and lower maintenance costs.
Among other findings:
Asked what they liked most about waterless urinals, 42 percent answered "saving water;" fifty percent noted it was to help Green their facility.
As to restroom odors, about half reported there was no increase in odor problems with waterless urinals, while the other half noted there were more odors or they were not sure.
In most cases, it was building owners (50 percent) who decided to install waterless systems in their facilities followed by managers at 40 percent.
Cleaning, Maintenance, and Concerns
The survey also asked several questions regarding the cleaning and maintenance of no-flush urinals.
For instance, 60 percent noted their janitorial crews change the traps or cartridges installed in most all waterless urinal systems. About the same percentage indicated they clean the waterless system using the same cleaners and methods they used to clean conventional urinals.
There were also some complaints about no-water urinals, mostly in regards to the trap/cartridges found on some systems. Nearly half of the respondents reported the trap/cartridges do not last as long as their manufacturer indicates and cost considerably more than anticipated.
"This is definitely true with some no-water systems," says Reichardt. "This is why managers must do their homework and select a waterless system that helps save both water and money."