The Benefits of Water Saving Toilets

Water makes the world go around. Moreover, it is a scarce resource that many people take for granted. If you no longer want to waste water, or you are looking to cut down on the cost of your monthly water bill, then you may want to consider making a few changes in your home. For starters, the restroom is generally the place where water is wasted the most. Visitors leave the water running when washing hands, and there may be outdated toilets that are not equipped as water saving toilets.

Posted on September 28, 2016 .

Non Flushing Urinals - What They are and How They Work

The world of waterless flushing is not necessarily a new one, but it is a rather recent development in the need to preserve a valuable resource. At Waterless Co., we provide non flushing urinals that are being used by all types of businesses in an effort to be eco-friendly. We understand that this might be your first time hearing the phrase “non flushing urinals”, so let’s go over the basics of what they are, and how they work.

Posted on September 23, 2016 .

FAQ: Can Waterless Urinals Really Save Water?

The answer is yes.  But before we debate how waterless urinals save water, we’ve got to say the following are guesstimates.  The amount typically quoted is that one waterless urinal can result in 35,000 gallons of water saved per year.

However, the amount of water saved when waterless urinals are installed can vary as a result of several factors, starting with where they are installed.  Are the waterless urinals located in the men’s restroom of a bar or restaurant?  A school or library? An airport or convention center?  A home?

A convention center may only be used half the year so the amount of water consumed by its urinals, even if there are many large men’s restrooms in the facility, may differ considerably from the amount consumed in a busy restaurant/bar frequented seven days a week throughout the year.  So, where waterless urinals are installed¾and how often they are used¾can cause water consumption to vary. 

With that in mind, here are some figures typically used to guestimate how much water is used by a traditional water-using urinal.  We can turn that around to show how waterless urinals save water:

·        In an office with one urinal and 25 male workers, one urinal may use approximately 50,000 gallons of water per year.

·        A restaurant with three urinals and an average of 150 male customers per day will use at least 72,000 gallons of water annually.

·        An educational facility with 10 urinals and 300 male students can use as much as 330,000 gallons of water per school year (approximately 185 days).*


So to determine just how much water we might be able to save, let’s create the following scenario.  Let’s assume we have an office building with 10 men’s restrooms and a total of 30 urinals.  Instead of 25 male workers, we have 250 male employees working in this office building every day.  The amount of saved water annually if waterless urinals are installed in this building would be approximately 1,500,000 gallons.

That’s a lot of saved water.  You can easily see why so many facilities, looking either for ways to reduce water consumption and become more water efficient or seeking LEED-certification, consider installing waterless urinals as one of their first steps. Very often, waterless urinals save enough water for the facility to receive credits for water efficiency.

We should also note that when this much water is saved, it can prove to be a real cost savings for a facility.  First there are the costs for the water from the water utility company.  But there are also costs to provide water to the facility and remove it.  These costs have jumped dramatically around the country in the past few years.  And, another cost that is often overlooked is the cost of electricity, required to deliver and remove water. 

These rates are typically worked into the water bill so you probably do not even notice them.  However, the more water that is consumed in your facility, the more electricity is needed to deliver and remove it, which also impacts the size of your water bill. 

So, we have answered your question: do waterless urinals really save water?  The answer is yes, waterless urinals do save water. And we have pointed out something else; because waterless urinals save water, they can help lower operating costs as well.

For more information on how to reduce water consumption, waterless urinals, and use water more efficiently, please contact a Waterless Co representative.


*Source: Waterless Urinals: Reducing Water Usage

Posted on September 12, 2016 .

FAQ: We get sewer odors in the basement of our office building. What could be causing this?

Before we discuss what could be causing sewer, sewer gas smells released into a basement, restroom, or any other area of a home or facility can be dangerous.  According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, inhaling very high levels of hydrogen sulfide¾a poisonous gas often found in sewer gas smells¾can lead to loss of consciousness, breathing problems, asphyxiation, and even death.

As to why you have sewer odors in the basement of your office building, there are a variety of reasons why they may be entering a home or business’ basement.  These can range from inadequate ventilation and a moldy or rotting sub-floor to toilets that are not properly sealed to the floor.  As to the toilet, just grab the fixture and slide it from side to side.  If it does not move, this is likely not the problem.  If it does, you may have found the sewer gas smell culprit.

However, very often the cause of this problem is dried out pipes.  And, since you said the sewer gas smells are in the basement, dried pipes may very likely be the cause.  You see, under every drain there is a “P” pipe.  The purpose for this “P” pipe is that as a faucet or floor drain is used, it fills with water.  This water is what blocks sewer odors from escaping into the room, in your case the basement.  But, dried pipes will not have this barrier to prevent sewer odors from escaping.

Steps You Can Take to End Sewer Odors

Fortunately, there are solutions, such as EverPrime, for these issues that we will discuss later in this article.  Before we discuss how to deal with sewer odors, let’s discuss what not to do. 

Many people pour a half cup or more of bleach down floor drains when they detect sewer odors.  Yes, this will likely address the problem and prevent sewer odors, but this is an environmentally unsafe way to handle the situation, especially with dried pipes.  Bleach should always be used with care; there may be chemicals lining the dried pipes that may negatively react with the bleach.  The bleach may cause corrosion in the pipes.  And bleach can also negatively impact waterways once it is released into the sewer.

Here is what you can do to prevent sewer odors and protect dried pipes.  Try to determine which drain(s) the sewer gas smell is coming from.  It is often a floor drain or a sink drain, etc.  Pour about a half cup of water down the problem drain.  Now, ventilate the room for up to 24 hours if possible.  Within that time period, the sewer odors will likely have dissipated and the sewer gas smell stopped.

However, this is a temporary fix.  If this has happened once, it is very likely to happen again.  A more permanent fix is to use a product such as EverPrime, manufactured by Waterless Co.  With EverPrime, first pour about a gallon of water mixed with just three ounces of EverPrime down the problem drains.  Then once again, ventilate the room for about 24 hours.

EverPrime will prevent the “P” pipe from drying out for months.  Using EverPrime is a far more permanent fix and safer on dried pipes.  Further, EverPrime is not impacted by heat or cold weather.

Because you said these sewer odors are in your basement, it is possible that warm weather in the summer or cold/freezing weather in the winter are also contributing to your dried pipes problem.  Product solutions like EverPrime could resolve your sewer odors and dried pipes issue in a safe and effective way.  

For more information on how to reduce water consumption, waterless urinals, and use water more efficiently, please contact a Waterless Co representative.


Posted on September 8, 2016 .

FAQ: I noticed there is a cylinder or trap at the bottom of different no-water urinals. What does this do, and are they all the same?

Most no-water urinals have a trap or trap cylinder at the bottom of the fixture.  One of the most common ones, and the one used in Waterless urinals is called the EcoTrap®.

They all play a very valuable role.  Without the trap installed, sewer odors would escape into the restroom, marring indoor air quality.  The trap is designed to prevent this and still allow urine to flow to the bottom of the urinal and on to sewer plumbing connections.

Posted on September 1, 2016 .

The Benefits of Waterless Urinals in Correctional Facilities

Finally, while prisons and correctional facilities were often not subject to water restrictions during droughts, that all changed with the last drought in California.  Prisons, just like all other types of facilities, were required to cut water consumption by 25 percent.  Unless cuts are made to the irrigation of vegetation or the number of showers allowed per inmate, it can be difficult to address this requirement.  What administrators have discovered is that installing no-water urinals is not only a major step but may be the only step necessary for them to reduce water consumption by 25 percent or more.

Posted on August 24, 2016 .

Retailers: This is No Time for Drought Fatigue

Retailers throughout the country can all learn a lot from what has been happening in California over the past few years.  The state has suffered one of the worst and most prolonged droughts in its history.  For more than four years, citizens and industry have been asked to conserve water and to use water more efficiently, which takes things a step further and refers to long-term water reduction as we shall discuss later. When California’s winter storms were over in 2015 and it was clear the drought would continue, the state finally decided it was time to impose actual water restrictions forcing everyone to find ways to reduce water consumption by 25 percent or more.  

Posted on August 22, 2016 .

Waterless Co Drain Trap Liquid

EverPrime from Waterless Co. is designed for drains that dry out due to lack of use, keeping indoor air clean and healthy.


Totally biodegradable and freeze resistant, EverPrime eliminates sewer odors, minimizes plumbing and maintenance calls, and keeps pests away.

Use it in floor and shower drains, sinks, and even unused water fountains.

Great for schools, restaurants, stadiums, factories, empty/vacant buildings, marine applications, and other facilities.

Its freeze point is -20°, making EverPrime excellent for winterizing traps.

For more information, visit or call toll-free: 800-244-6364.

Posted on August 15, 2016 .

Calling Sherlock Holmes to Locate Mysterious Restroom Odors

Sometimes, finding the source of odors in facility restrooms can seem to take nothing less than a super sleuth like Sherlock Holmes. Most facility managers know that the most common restroom malodor culprits—tile and grout areas; porous floors; inadequately or improperly cleaned fixtures, walls, and floors—are places where bacteria develop. And when bacteria develop, so do restroom malodors.

Posted on August 12, 2016 .

How California Lost Six Billion Gallons of Water in Four Years

It’s no secret that the last four years have been bone dry in California. People in the state have repeatedly been told to conserve water and, in 2015, were required to cut back their water use by 25 percent to even 35 percent in certain areas of the state.

Finally, some relief came in 2016 in the form of much needed rainfall, but drought conditions could return again next year, and California will be back in the same situation as before. But right now, the state has some breathing room, and it is looking at what steps it can take quickly to start averting another crisis.

One of the possibilities is to convert billions of gallons of wastewater that is now flushed right into the Pacific Ocean and recycle it into treatable, useable water for vegetation and other purposes. It is estimated that, each year, the state flushes about 1.5 billion gallons of water into the ocean, so over the past four years, this amounts to about 6 billion gallons or more of water.

Some water utilities in the state are already recycling and purifying wastewater and doing a pretty good job of it. They just have to expand their operations significantly. But ,interestingly, it is some of the state’s largest companies that are taking the lead in recycling wastewater. Not only are they finding ways to recycle wastewater, but they are finding it to be a way to cut costs as well.

For instance, beginning in 2009, Genentech, a biotechnology company located in South San Francisco, has implemented a suite of water-saving initiatives. These types of initiatives are often referred to as using water “more efficiently” because they are long-term programs, not temporary ones just to address a current drought.

One of these water-saving programs includes the installation of a centralized gray water recycling system. Gray water is wastewater that can be treated and then reused for a number of purposes. Once the system is up and running, the company expects to cut its water consumption—purchased from local water utilities—by approximately 60 million gallons of water annually. This water will then be reused in the facility’s cooling systems, for irrigation, and for toilets.

What many large and small companies in the state are also doing is removing traditional urinals, which each use about 35,000 gallons of water per year, and replacing them with no-water or waterless urinals. This can provide tremendous water savings.

As an example, Genentech has more than 13,000 employees working in its 750,000-square-foot research laboratory. Let’s say half of those employees are men and that the laboratory has 150 urinals. If each of those are water-using urinals, then Genentech is using about 5.8 million gallons of water annually just for urinals. If it installed no-water or waterless urinals, it would instead be saving 5.8 million gallons of water per year. That is a big water savings and one that can be achieved surprisingly quickly and inexpensively.


For more information on how to reduce water consumption, waterless urinals, and use water more efficiently, please contact a Waterless Co representative.

Posted on August 11, 2016 .

Reducing Water Consumption is a Cost Savings for Building Owners and Managers

More and more building owners and managers in the U.S. are building and operating facilities that are greener and more sustainable. A key reason for this is they are finding that being more environmentally responsible often results in real cost savings, especially when it comes to reducing water consumption.

One way to ensure responsible water use is by determining where to install faucets based on the flow rate needed. The flow rate of faucets, measured in gallons per minute (gpm), should be higher in some areas of a facility and lower in other areas. For instance, in foodservice and kitchen areas gpm should be high – about 2 gallons of water per minute is standard.

However, this flow rate is not necessary in restrooms. For faucets in these areas, aerators can be installed that reduce the flow rate to as little as 0.5 gpm. In fact, the U.S. Green Building Council specifically recommends that faucets in public restrooms and other general hand washing areas use no more than 0.5 gpm. This reduces water use considerably and still allows for effective hand washing. It can also lower utility costs associated with providing water to a facility.

Toilets and Urinals

Toilet technologies have advanced considerably in just the past few years, further helping reduce water consumption and costs. For instance, pressure-assist toilets are becoming more popular. They rely on compressed air to remove waste and, in so doing, use little water – about 1.1 gpf (gallons per flush). These toilets tend to be more costly than traditional toilets, and the original systems were noisy. That said, costs are coming down, and they are also far quieter today.  

However, their added costs should be balanced with the reduction in water consumption. Water rates throughout the U.S. are escalating, in some cases quite alarmingly. These toilets can help minimize the impact of those rate increases.

Another option is a dual-flush toilet. Dual-flush systems typically reduce water consumption to about 1.25 gpf. While that flow rate is not as low as a pressure-assist system, it still is lower than the federally regulated 1.6 gpf.  

As to urinals, big changes are in store due in part to the California drought. Starting this year, new urinals installed in California facilities can release only 0.5 gpf. This is down from 1 gpf for new urinals and as much as 3 gpf for older urinal systems. We expect to see that most manufacturers, due to the size of the California market, will develop more urinals that use only 0.5 gpf.

But that’s not all. An issue with the 0.5 gpf urinals is that while they use far less water, they still cost about the same as traditional urinals; this is mainly due to the fact that they require a flush valve. Because of this, there has been a significant uptick in the installation of no-water or waterless urinals in California. These systems, as the name implies, use no water at all and typically cost far less than traditional urinals.

For more information on how to reduce water consumption and use water more efficiently, please contact a Waterless Co. representative.

Posted on August 5, 2016 .

How To Develop a Water Reduction Strategy

Invariably, when we read tips on ways to save water, they are written for the consumer (i.e., the homeowner). While some of these tips—such as using the dishwasher only when there is a full load or watering lawns in the evening—can also apply to a correctional location, I am sure we can all agree that there is a big difference between a home, which may house 4 people, and a correctional location, which might house 2,500.

However, saving water is possible in a correctional location. In fact, many such facilities, especially in California, have implemented programs that reduce water consumption dramatically. While these facilities prove it is possible to save water, doing so is very dependent on developing a water-reduction strategy.

Read more:

For more information on how to reduce water consumption and use water more efficiently, please contact a Waterless Co. representative.

Posted on August 3, 2016 .

How Can Building Owners and Managers Reduce Water Consumption?

Back in the 1970s, a toilet or urinal used as much as 3 gallons of water per flush – sometimes more. By 1992, manufacturers were legally required to reduce this to 1.6 gallons per flush for toilets and 1 gallon per flush for urinals. But then private industry stepped up to the plate. Realizing there was both a need and a market for more water-efficient products, companies developed an entire range of fixtures that use even less water than is mandated.

Posted on August 1, 2016 .

Hotel Water Use: Are You Flushing Money Down the Drain?

Hotels use a lot of water — for guest rooms, pools, landscaping, laundry and other uses. In total, this accounts for about 15 percent of total water use in US commercial and institutional facilities, according to the EPA.

As the price of water and wastewater services continue to increase — and drought conditions in the American Southwest spur water restrictions and conservation mandates — hotel owners and operators can save on utility costs and avoid regulatory fines by implementing water-efficient technologies and practices. McGraw-Hill Construction estimates suggest that implementing water-efficient practices in commercial buildings can decrease operating costs by approximately 11 percent and energy and water use by 10 and 15 percent, respectively.

A good place to start saving water is on-site laundry operations, which account for 16 percent of a hotel’s water usage, second only to guest rooms at 30 percent.

Read more:

For more information on how to reduce water consumption and use water more efficiently, please contact a Waterless Co representative.

Posted on July 29, 2016 .

Waterless Urinals Help Building Owners Use Water Responsibly

After four years of drought, the state of California has finally had some relief in the form of rain. However, that does not mean the state is out of the woods. It still must be very careful in how it uses water and make sure it uses water responsibly. Of course, that’s where waterless urinals come in, but more about them later.

Fortunately, some good has come from the drought. Many building owners and consumers are using water much more carefully now, and we all can learn from what California has done over the past four years to use water more responsibly and efficiently. Following are some of the lessons learned and steps the state has taken:

·        Water is no longer taken for granted; also, the true costs of gathering, storing, delivering, and removing water have increased significantly, so conserving water is not only an environmental issue but also a cost issue.

·        Many water districts have beefed up water capacity, expecting future droughts.

·        Water shortages are no longer a “local” issue. Instead of each county being on its own when it comes to water, if one area of the state experiences a shortage, water is pulled from nearby areas where water is more plentiful.

·        New technologies have been developed for all consumer water-using devices—from dishwashers to washing machines—to reduce water consumption.

·        A new mentality toward water has evolved. Businesses and industries view reducing water consumption as not only the “right” thing to do but also in their best business interest.

·        Variable-rate irrigation systems allow farmers to use water more selectively; additionally, farmers have implemented irrigation scheduling and developed soil sensors to determine water needs.

·        Water audits, unheard of 40 years ago, are now commonplace. Water audits help determine where water is being used, where it is being wasted, and where its use can be reduced.

·        Rebate programs have been introduced to encourage consumers and facilities to install more water-efficient systems.

One of the changes also implemented in California is that newly installed toilets and urinals use less than the federally mandated gallons per flush (gpf). Currently, the federal mandate is set at 1.6 gpf for toilets and approximately 1 gpf for urinals. In California, that amount must be reduced to approximately 1.25 gpf for toilets and no more than 0.5 gpf for urinals.

This requirement has caused many building owners to rethink water-using urinals entirely. There are various reasons for this, but the one that drifts to the top is costs. Even if a urinal uses only 0.5 gpf, it still must be plumbed for that water; it still must have a flush valve installed, typically a sensor-controlled valve; and it still uses water. These are all cost factors that remain static whether the urinal uses 0.5 gpf or 3 gpf.

Observers believe that this is one of the key reasons there has been an upswing in the number of waterless urinals installed in California and in other “dry” states. A waterless urinal does not need to be plumbed for water; does not need a flush valve; and no water is used whatsoever. All of which can provide significant cost savings.


For more information on how to reduce water consumption and use water more efficiently, please contact a Waterless Co representative.

Posted on July 1, 2016 .

No-Water Urinals, Pressure-Assisted Toilets, and Other New Restroom Technologies

When it comes to water consumption, no-water urinals and new toilet technologies have advanced considerably in just the past few years. For instance, pressure-assisted toilets are becoming more popular, and we are likely to see more of these in the years to come. You’ve likely already seen pressure-assisted toilets; they are similar to the types of toilets installed on airplanes. They rely on compressed air to remove waste and, in so doing, use very little water—about 1.1 gpf (gallons per flush). This compares to 1.6 gpf or more with a standard toilet.

However, these toilets tend to be more costly than traditional toilets, and installation issues may arise in some facilities. But their added costs should be balanced with the reduction in water consumption. Water rates throughout the United States are escalating, in some cases quite alarmingly. These toilets can help minimize the impact of those rate increases.

Along with pressure-assisted toilets, another option is a dual-flush toilet. These have been around for a while but have further improved in recent years. There are even sensor-controlled dual-flush toilets now.

These systems use considerably less water to remove liquid waste and just a bit more (than that used for liquid waste) to remove solid waste. Typically they reduce water consumption to about 1.25 gpf. While the flow rate is not as low as that of a pressure-assisted system, it still is lower than the federally mandated 1.6 gpf, and these toilets are typically less costly than a pressure-assisted toilet. Additionally, kits are available that can convert a standard toilet to a dual-flush system.

As for urinals, big changes are in store, due in part to the California drought. Starting in 2016, new urinals installed in California facilities can release only 0.5 gpf. This is lower than the typical 1 gpf for standard urinals and as much as 3 gpf for older urinal systems. We expect to see most manufacturers, due to the size of the California market, develop more urinals that use only 0.5 gpf.

However, many building owners are taking this a step further and installing no-water urinals. No-water urinals, as the name implies, use no water at all and typically cost far less to select and install than traditional urinals. This is because they have no flush valves and fewer plumbing requirements. Also, restroom users tend to like no-water urinals because there is no need to “touch” the system at all, eliminating concerns about pathogens and cross-contamination.

New buildings in the planning stages should consider these and other new restroom technologies that help reduce water consumption. Along with reducing water consumption, installing these systems is a significant way to reduce facility operating costs as well, as water rates are expected to continue increasing.

Existing facilities have water-reducing opportunities available to them as well. No-water urinals typically can be installed directly over the footprint of a conventional water-using urinal. And selecting and installing a no-water urinal can be surprisingly inexpensive. Plus, their benefits can be considerable, in both reducing water consumption and addressing the rising costs associated with water.

For more information on how to reduce water consumption and use water more efficiently,  please contact a Waterless Co representative. 

Posted on June 30, 2016 .