It may be because Waterless Co., Inc. has been around for nearly 30 years.
Or maybe it’s because Waterless Co., Inc. was the first company in North America to introduce no-water urinals.
Possibly it’s because these water-conserving urinals were introduced just as drought concerns started spreading in many corners of the US.
Whatever the case, Waterless Co., Inc., is now viewed by many as an icon in the restroom fixture industry.
The family-run company began in 1991 with the introduction of only three urinals. New systems were introduced over time, mainly to address changing restroom styles and decor and the fact that waterless urinals are now popular in homes, as well as commercial buildings.
“Our big hurdle when we started the company was educating building owners, plumbers, and managers just what waterless urinals are,” says Klaus Reichardt, founder of the company.
“When you have an entirely new product or technology being introduced, you must do more than just tell people about it; you have to change mindsets. You have to build your case so that people can see the value of the new technology.”
Reichardt says that not only did he and his company have to change the mindsets of building owners, plumbers, and managers, they also had to change the mindset of men as well.
“When we first started installing our [no-water] urinals in restrooms, men thought they were broken because there was no flush valve present. [So] we posted small signs above the urinal, essentially saying “its waterless, just do your business and then walk away.”
He adds that when you introduce an entirely new product or technology, you must expect some backlash. In some cases, this came from the plumbing industry that viewed the new technology as a possible threat to plumbing companies around the country because waterless urinals were less costly to install.
While waterless urinals must meet and be installed per building and plumbing codes throughout the country, they do not have all the installation requirements of traditional, water-using urinals. Because they do not use water, they do not require pipes to deliver water to the unit or any type of flushing mechanism.
Waterless urinals are now accepted in all types of facilities, from high-end hotels to public schools, major sports venues, and office buildings.
“In many ways, we viewed this challenge from the plumbing industry as a positive sign,” adds Reichardt. “It told us that building owners and managers were taking this new [no-water] urinal technology seriously and were beginning to see its benefits.”
Another challenge came from the professional cleaning industry. Reichardt says the company had to change mindsets there as well. Custodial workers were not always sure how to clean no-water urinals.
With a traditional water-using urinal, the cleaning focus is typically the flush handle or mechanism, the sides of the urinal, the surrounding walls or partitions, and the floor. Very often, a powerful cleaner or disinfectant is applied to the interior of the urinal, which then must be wiped clean.
While the exterior of a waterless urinal is cleaned essentially the same way, no harsh or powerful cleaners need be used. Instead, a bio-enzymatic cleaner should be sprayed into the bowl and left to stay. This cleaning solution will eat away at organic soils, which can cause odors. Further, the cleaning solution continues to remove soil and kill odors even after the bowl has been cleaned.
So why is Waterless Co., Inc. now an icon? It's because of all we have just discussed. The company has changed mindsets, addressed challenges, and while competitors have come and gone, Waterless has proven it is here to stay.
For more information on the many benefits of Waterless urinals, contact a Waterless Co representative.