A few years back, a survey was conducted asking the administrators of all types of facilities including schools, universities, recreation centers, offices, and convention centers, why they decided to install waterless urinals. A total of 79 survey forms were mailed out. Twenty-seven were returned, resulting in a response rate of 34 percent. *
The majority of these waterless urinal installations were retrofits. This means that traditional, water-using urinals were first installed in the men’s restrooms and then replaced with no-water urinals. Among the findings of the survey were the following:
· Eight-five percent said the number one reason they installed the waterless urinals was water-related cost savings
· Fifty-two percent reported their purpose was to reduce restroom maintenance; other reasons included improving restroom hygiene, odor control, and to earn utility rebates.
The respondents were also asked to provide comments about their experience with the no-water urinals. Among those were the following:
· Two reported having trouble receiving city approval for the installation of the no-water urinals for different reasons. However, in both cases, the waterless urinals were eventually installed.
· Ten reporting having odor problems initially; however, this dissipated over time with a better understanding of how to clean and maintain the urinals.
· One administrator noted there was a buildup of deposits in the drain lines; there was no further comment or discussion regarding the outcome of this observation.
· Two convention centers did report removing the no-water urinals; no reasons were provided.
· Five reported that it took time to train custodial workers on how to clean the waterless urinals properly.
As to their overall experience with the waterless urinals, on a scale of one to five with one being very poor and five being excellent, this is what the respondents reported:
The durability of the fixtures: 4.2
User acceptance: 3.5
Ease of installation: 3.6
Ease of maintenance: 3.6
Ease of cleaning: 3.6
Overall performance: 3.6
Overall satisfaction: 3.4
Odor control: 3.0
Average Score: 3.6 (interpreted as "good" by the researchers)
We should note, this study was conducted a few years back. One of the issues manufacturers of no-water urinals still must grapple with is teaching custodial workers how to clean and maintain the urinals. While the exterior of the urinal is cleaned the same way as a traditional urinal, the interior cleaning is different. For instance, a large amount of water is not to be poured into the urinals. If custodial workers were aware of this at the time of the study, the overall scores would likely have been higher.
The Waterless Co. blog is where building owners and managers find expert, practical advice on ways to reduce water consumption and to help use water more efficiently. Our goal is to protect our most valuable natural resources, help facilities reduce their water consumption and water-related costs, and operate in a more environmentally responsible and sustainable manner. For more information, contact us at 1-800-244-6264
*Estes, McClure & Associates, Inc., conducted the survey.