How Do Waterless Urinals Work?

Waterless urinals first came to the attention of Americans in the 1990s. Skeptics demanded “How do waterless urinals work and are they sanitary?” Supporters found themselves often at the losing end of the arguments because of the obstinacy of their opponents. Those against using waterless urinal systems, however, soon found that these pieces of equipment were the answer to so many water woes.

The potential of saving money and reducing the amount of water they were wasting began to win more fans. Many municipal and state governments also added their support by legislating the amount of water urinals and other such devices could use for flushing. As water shortages continue to grow in many nations, the need for waterless public urinal systems continues to increase. And, why shouldn’t it? The simplicity of the operating system makes them ideal for their purpose.

How They Work

The standard system for urinals is simple. Urine flows into the urinal. It goes down into the drain where water pools. Every flush provides water to clean out the urinal systems. Waterless urinals are different.

While the urine flows down into the drain, water is not pooled there to flush it away. Instead, waterless urinal can utilize one of several possible methods to remove the urine. One of the more common ones combines a liquid sealant and a cartridge. The components all work together to provide a process that moves the waste hygienically from its point of origin (the urinal) to its exit through the waste water system.

Trap: Every waterless or even traditional urinal has a trap. As the name indicates, it “traps” whatever flows or is poured into it.

Cartridge: A removable cartridge is part of the trap. A typical cartridge consists of circular slits. Urine flows through this device, is filtered as it goes through the sealant. The sealant, because it is oil, remains on top while the urine flows through and out into the reservoir.

Non-Cartridge: Alternatively, the trap slows down the flow of the urine. The sealant sits in the trap hole and filters the water before passing it on to the reservoir.

Reservoir: The reservoir contains the filtered urine until it fills it and makes its way into the center. Here, an open pipe sits ready to take the urine after it reaches a level higher than its rim. This receives the excess amount of fluid.

Waste Line: The wastewater leaves the reservoir through this pipe. It then becomes part of the waste water management system
This, then, is the basic answer to the question, “How do waterless urinals work?”

How Do Waterless Urinals Work?

Flushless and waterless urinals reduce the consumption of water. They do so at a significant and quantifiable rate. With increasing concerns about the environment and the rise in droughts, the number of waterless units have increased. It is possible that in a few more decades, the question will not be “How do waterless urinals work?” but “What took us so long to install them?”

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