Waterless Urinal Saves 45,000 Gallons Annually
Written by Jonathan Kennedy
A single waterless urinal can save up to 45,000 gallons of water each year when compared to usage of “waterflushed” urinals. There are approximately 8 million urinals installed in the United States alone. Assuming an average of 2 gallons per flush, the total potable water usage by urinals is approximately 160 billion gallons each year. [i] If all waterflush urinals in the United States were placed with dry urinals, enough water would be saved annually to supply the populations of San Francisco, Charlotte, Seattle, Atlanta, and Portland combined (based on 2000 census data and average per capita usage of 150 gallons per day).
Toilets and urinals are still flushed with potable water and it is estimated that up to 20% of the available drinking water in the world is flushed down the drain. [i] Urinals that do not require a flush after use present an opportunity to conserve unnecessarily wasted water.
Waterless urinals which are designed to drain urine without the need for flushing have now hit the market. A small liquid chemical trap is usually incorporated into the design that allows urine to drain quickly, but prevents odors from rising through it. In almost every other way, waterless urinals are similar to conventional urinals. They look, function, cost and require about the same maintenance as conventional urinals yet they save thousands of gallons of water per year.
Thousands of waterless urinals are now in use in commercial and federal facilities. These existing dry urinals save millions of gallons of water annually. [ii] For example, the STAPLES Center has recently replaced 178 flush urinals with waterless types. This equates to an estimated savings of over 7 million gallons per year. [iii] The Rose Bowl installed 259 waterless urinals that save 130,000 gallons of water on game day alone. That is the same amount of water that is consumed by six people in a year. [iv]
Nearly 97 percent of the world’s water is salty or otherwise undrinkable. Another 2 percent is locked in ice caps and glaciers. Only 1 percent is left for all agricultural, residential, manufacturing, community and personal needs, as well as other freshwater-dependent species. Demand for water is doubling every 20 years, outpacing population growth twice as fast. On a worldwide basis, 1.3 billion people do not have access to clean water and 2.5 billion lack proper sewage and sanitation. According to estimates, demand for freshwater will exceed the world’s supply by over 50 percent in less than 20 years. [v]
[v] Lohan, T. I. (2008). Water Consciousness. Independent Media Institute