Remove the doubt from waterless bathroom technology

July 01, 2004 |

The latest effort by architects and engineers in water conservation is specifying the waterfree urinal. Studies show that water consumption and the impact on wastewater treatment systems can decrease by as much as 50,000 gallons per year for each waterfree urinal. Schools, government agencies, and office buildings are opting to install waterfree urinals as a part of their overall effort to create a green building.

However, critics cite ammonia odor due to the absence of flush water in the urinals as a major disadvantage. This claim was put to the test by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), which installed two different brands of non-water urinals in six of their state parks as part of a sustainability initiative under the auspices of the Department of Energy's Rebuild America program.

The OPRD commissioned third party Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Wash., to take restroom air samples in proximity to the urinals in an effort to determine the ammonia level in each bathroom. Each bathroom had either Falcon Water Free or Waterless brand urinals, made from either non-vitreous china or vitreous china. Four sample situations were assumed: a standing male adult, a standing four-year old male child, a seated male adult, and a seated four-year old male child.

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory found there to be "barely detectible or no detectible ammonia in the non-water using urinals." According to the survey, detectible ammonia levels found were a result of bathroom cleaning supplies. For more information go to

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