Nobody likes to admit it, but there is one thing everyone has in common: Urination. It is just one of the many “benefits” associated with being alive, in addition to sweating, sneezing, coughing and shedding dead skin cells. The body excretes an array of substances, whether we like it or not. Excusing one’s self to relieve the bladder from part of the 800-1000ml of fluid that pass through the organ every day may be embarrassing, but the water wasted flushing away the urine is an even more controversial topic.
Toilettes and urinals use an average of 25% of a building’s water supply, while a leaky toilet adds to the problem; wasting up to 200 liters of water a day. Water free urinals are the next step in the world of resource management. Falcon Waterfree Technology, developed environmentally friendly urinal stations with the knowledge that a typical urinal wastes about 151,000 liters of water a year.
The idea of a water free urinal may sound unhygienic, but learning about the design will put any concerns to rest: Urine flows through a funnel shaped cartridge placed at the urinal’s base. Once past the funnel, the urine is separated from the environment by a ‘sealant’ that floats on top of the urine (like oil on water) and proceeds to flow downwards, to the drain. The air tight ring and sealant within the cartridge prevent any odors from escaping while uric waste is collected by this patented device. This ensures clean pipes and a clean smelling environment.
It is also important to note that settled water is a prime breeding ground for bacteria. Without this water there, there is no spot for the bacteria to multiply.
Falcon explains that the process “saves 100% of the water going through urinals, and therefore, 100% of the water and sewer charges. There is very little maintenance cost on a Falcon urinal as there are no moving parts and no flushometer. Drain lines remain free of calcification as no hard water is running through them. The only maintenance is an easy change of the cartridge, performed approximately three to four times per year.”
At around $300-600 per urinal, the technology pays for itself. Users of water free urinals claim to save anywhere from $100-200 per year with regards to water and maintinence costs.
It also helps to know that after using one of these hands-free and flush-free devices, no harm has come to the environment. It definitely feels good to “pee green” (catchy term used by a Falcon representative).