New York’s Times Square is the east coast headquarters of Bank of America. At 51 stories and more than two million square feet, the Bank of America Tower has incorporated a variety of leading-edge technologies such as the most advanced security and anti-terrorism systems now available; wind turbines for the generation of power; water recycling equipment; and advanced energy application systems to regulate and reduce energy use.
Even the restrooms are state of the art. Advanced water conservation measures—such as low-flow faucets, toilets, and showers—have been selected. And, when it comes to the urinals, the developers decided to install waterless urinals in all the men’s restrooms throughout the building.
The bank is not alone in installing waterless urinals. Many facilities, new and old, including hotels, are installing urinals that require no water. For instance, the Royal Hotel in Sydney, Australia recently decided to use waterless urinals in all of their common area men’s restrooms. “We installed waterless urinals for several reasons,” says Dennis Callahan, owner of the Royal Hotel. “I thought it was a more efficient way to go as water is becoming increasingly expensive, but we also did it to help eliminate restroom odors.”
Savings and Health Benefits
According to some experts, there are several reasons for the growing interest in waterless urinals, especially in hotels. Although waterless urinals need to be connected to a drain, there is no need to install the plumbing that carries water to the drain, which can be a sizable savings for building owners. Additionally, electronic sensors, batteries and other components of a traditional flush urinal are unnecessary.
Then there is the water savings. Urinals use about one to one and a half gallons of water per flush. Older units can use as much as four gallons per flush. Considering that the average urinal is flushed about 2,000 times per month, this means that just one urinal can use more than 35,000 gallons of water per year—as much water as a family of four uses in one year.*
Not only can this be costly in drought-plagued areas of the country, but it is also wasteful. It’s one more reason facilities concerned about Green and sustainability issues are installing waterless urinals.
However, for hotels, there are health and hygiene benefits as well. Minimizing cross-contamination and infection is a prime concern in the hotel industry. Because germs and bacteria are often spread by touching surfaces in restrooms, eliminating the need to “touch” a urinal handle helps prevent the spread of harmful microorganisms.
Although waterless urinals do offer several benefits and savings, hotel owners and administrators are encouraged to do their homework when selecting a waterless urinal system. There are a few different manufacturers of waterless urinals, but each uses a slightly different system, requiring different maintenance, and having different operating costs.
Hotel administrators must analyze each type of no-water urinal system before making a selection. For instance, most no-water urinals have a trap or cylinder installed at the base of the urinal. This prevents sewer odors from being released into the restroom. The cylinders in some no-water urinal systems can be quite expensive, minimizing if not eliminating the monetary savings hotel administrators might have hoped to achieve.
On the other hand, some waterless urinals use far less costly cylinders and, interestingly, these cylinders last far longer. To enjoy all the benefits and savings of waterless urinals, do your homework.
For more information on waterless urinals, contact a Waterless Co representative at 800-244-6364
*Source: American Water Works Association