Until 1998 commercial building owners were predominantly concerned with maintaining a clean public toilet facility and little or no thought was given to sustainability. It was a known operational fact that for businesses such as shopping centres or restaurants that had a high movement of people that the cleanliness of their toilet facilities boosted the success of that business. The best example of this worldwide would be McDonald's who take great care to maintain their toilet facilities as many traveller's will specifically hunt out a McDonald's restaurant specifically because they know there will be clean toilets available.
According to a recent industry survey more than 75% of adults would avoid a restaurant, hotel or shopping centre if they encountered dirty toilets. A clean and hygienic toilet is absolutely critical for any building. In many ways the toilet facilities act as an ambassador and speak volumes about the overall management of a building.
In recent years it has become increasingly clear that building managers must also strive for sustainability. As such, businesses and building owners and managers strive to incorporate products that are not only sustainable but are visibly environmentally friendly.
As one of the most visible areas of any building, the toilet facilities are the source of more complaints than any other operational aspect of a building. Unfortunately, public toilet facilities are one of the most difficult areas in a building to keep clean. Sustainable product choices in the toilets contribute to a cleaner, more hygienic experience and are also better for the environment. An area that Aquatemp Environmental Services has not only pioneered but continued to develop product in, is waterless urinals. Waterless urinals are only mentioned in an environmental context, where both the immense water savings of up to 152000 litres and more per urinal, per year and carbon emissions reduction of up to 320kg per urinal, per year are cited.
There is a common misconception that waterless urinals are not as hygienic as their flush urinal counterparts. However, waterless urinal systems actually reduce odours and contribute to a cleaner, more sanitary public toilet facility. A few facts demonstrate why:
- Urine is essentially odourless. Urine odour primarily results from the reaction of urine with water and air. Without water, the urinal quickly dries between uses and produces no detectable odour.
- Dr. Michael Hoffman, professor of environment science and dean of graduate studies at the California Institute of Technology, concluded in an independent study that, “The dual barrier system provided in waterless urinals are predicted to be 500 times more effective against the back migration of sewer gases as compared to conventional P-trap water barriers.”
- Bacteria and viruses thrive on moist surfaces, and the wet surface of a water flushing urinal is a breeding ground for their growth. Flushing doesn’t kill bacteria and viruses. Worse, the flush creates a mist that spreads bacteria and viruses to every surface in the toilet facility. Dr. Charles Gerba, professor of environmental microbiology at the University of Arizona explains, “Waterless urinals offer a major improvement in public sanitation. Flushing is eliminated, which greatly reduces the almost continuous production of microbial aerosols, and the surface and sides of urinals are drier, which reduces the survival of human disease-carrying microorganisms and prevents their growth.”
According to the Journal of Infection Control, bacteria such as those that cause the influenza virus can thrive and linger on surfaces for up to 72 hours. As a result water flushing urinals contain more bacteria and microorganisms than waterless urinals. The waterless feature of waterless urinals can help reduce the risk of cross-contamination because users are not required to touch a flushing device that may harbour bacteria.
Waterless urinals require minimum maintenance to ensure a clean, hygienic, sustainable, user-friendly experience. The Zero Flush urinal supplied by Aquatemp Environmental Solutions require like all urinals periodic maintenance whilst on a daily basis it is simply a matter of a simply spray of the urinal with Zero Flush Spray and Go a mild cleaner that requires no wiping clean as you would with a flush urinal. Because there’s no water, there will be no lime scale or calcite build up, which makes cleaning fast and easy.
With Zero Flush waterless urinals, building owners and managers can be assured that their public toilet facilities will be sustainable, cleaner and the experience of their clients will be both hands-free and hygienic.