Water is a finite resource, and as environmental consciousness grows, so does our responsibility to preserve it. With traditional urinals squandering copious amounts of water, an alternative is not just an option but an urgent necessity.
Enter ZeroFlush waterless urinals – a revolutionary solution championed by Whywait Plumbing.
Ditching the Old Ways: How Traditional Urinals Fail Us
It might startle you, but conventional urinals can waste up to 25 litres of water with each flush. That’s the same volume as filling a typical kitchen sink to dispose of a small amount of urine.
But, ZeroFlush waterless urinals turn the tables using gravity’s power.
The Genius Behind ZeroFlush Urinals: Nature and Science Combined
ZeroFlush urinals don’t rely on water to whisk away urine. Instead, they utilise a clever one-way valve system. This odour barrier harnesses gravity, directing urine downwards while eliminating any possibility of unpleasant odours wafting back into the room.
They cut out 100% of the water from the conventional flushing mechanism.
The Big Picture: Australia’s Water Consumption
Consider this: non-residential properties have one urinal for every three toilets, accounting for a hefty slice of Australia’s water usage.
By swapping out a water-flushing urinal for a ZeroFlush waterless urinal, we’re looking at a staggering annual water saving of 152,000 litres per urinal.
With water scarcity becoming an increasing concern, such savings are paramount.
Environmental and Economic Implications: A Double Victory
The environmental benefit isn’t just about water savings. The energy used to supply water to commercial buildings, shopping centres, and educational institutions is colossal.
Introducing ZeroFlush urinals can halve a building’s greenhouse gas emissions.
As water costs continue their upward trend in Australia, and with the rise of sewerage discharge factor charges, reducing water usage is as much an economic concern as it is environmental. Commercial property managers must now account not only for the water entering but also for the water leaving the building. Hence, ZeroFlush urinals emerge as champions of both sustainability and cost efficiency.
Debunking Myths: The Hygiene of Waterless Urinals
There’s a misplaced perception that waterless urinals might be less hygienic. It’s time to lay that myth to rest.
A study by the Shanghai Environment Project Design Institute found that waterless urinals harbour five times fewer bacteria than their water-flushing counterparts.
How? The bacteria and germs in conventional urinals arise from airborne fecal matter, which creates an ideal environment for them to thrive when combined with the moisture from flushing. Since ZeroFlush urinals don’t have this water action, they greatly diminish the chances of bacterial proliferation.
Another misconception is the association of urine with strong odours. In reality, urine’s inherent odour is relatively mild. The unpleasant smells in male bathrooms are often due to the bacteria from the fecal matter-water combination.
Paving the Way for a Sustainable Future with Whywait Plumbing and ZeroFlush Urinals
ZeroFlush urinals, supplied and expertly installed by Whywait Plumbing, are more than just fixtures; they are a statement.
A declaration that we are ready to make impactful changes to secure our environment and ensure resource sustainability. By installing these urinals, businesses advocate for reduced water and energy consumption and actively diminish greenhouse gas emissions.
In today’s era, where every drop of water counts, ZeroFlush urinals are pillars of innovation, efficiency, and foresight. As stewards of our environment, let’s make informed choices that will echo positively for future generations.
Let Whywait Plumbing guide you on this sustainable journey, ensuring that every step taken is one towards a greener and more prosperous future.
Plumbing innovations have always been the norm in the plumbing industry. Innovation is change and is always about better ways of doing the same thing.
When I started my apprenticeship the clearing of a blocked drain started using a plunger and was at least a two-man job using 1m long drainage rods. The rods were screwed together and manually pushed slowly down the drain until we hit the blockage. Clearing drains this way frequently took 3-4 hours.
Plumbing innovations mean that we now clear a blocked drain with state of the art high-pressure jetrodding technology that was unknown 20 years ago.
Innovation is always about change, but at Whywait Plumbing we have always been at the forefront of plumbing innovations. We have always lead change as Gold Coast plumbers from the purchase of our first high-pressure water jetting unit in 1992 or installing vehicle tracking systems or introducing guaranteed upfront pricing in 1999.
What we always considered was developing and improving our way of solving your plumbing problems is now referred to as disruptive innovation. I agree disruptive innovation is the new term in business in the 21st century. But it’s not new it’s just a new way of talking about improving our methods and practices using the latest technology.
Change is the norm, but it just appears to be frantic to an outside observer with online banking, online shopping, online flight bookings and so the list goes on. At least with plumbing, it can’t be done online except for those DIY enthusiasts who believe Google Plumbing has all the answers.
The level of disruption through plumbing innovations has impacted all plumbing installation and maintenance has been significant starting with:
- Increasing use of prefabrication of bathroom and kitchen modules off-site where the plumbing is all undertaken in a factory, transported to the site and connected up to a water and drainage connection.
- Continual advances in sustainability with the advent of low flow toilets, low flow taps, waterless urinals and recirculated hot water.
- Advances in energy efficient products with heat pump hot water units, solar hot water, instant hot water and underfloor heating.
- All of the different materials we now use in the pipework, relining of existing pipework, CCTV cameras to inspect pipes and pipe jointing methods where welding is now obsolete.
- Excavation methods with advanced technologies in hydro excavation and tracking and locating of underground services.
The ongoing changes in technology in the plumbing industry are disruptive if not embraced. I agree that plumbing innovations cause a significant difference in how we undertake to solve plumbing problems and how the plumbers at Whywait work now.
Ultimately plumbing continues to be about protecting the health and safety of the community for now and the future to ensure we have good quality water and sewer systems in our buildings.
ZeroFlush waterless urinals are an increasingly widespread investment being made by architects, hydraulic engineers, facilities managers and building owners throughout Australia because they help conserve water.
Here at Whywait Plumbing, we concur that there are conflicting arguments about the amount of money they save. ZeroFlush waterless urinals do operate without flushing any water, so they will always save water first and foremost. But when making a case for their installation and the investment in maintaining and operating them the best evidence is they are environmentally and sustainably superior to every water flushing urinal.
Installation of ZeroFlush waterless urinals as a corporate responsibility effort should always be a consideration, but here at Whywait Plumbing our experience with ZeroFlush enables us to give you a performance guarantee.
On current Gold Coast Water charges we can guarantee installation of ZeroFlush waterless urinals will reduce your water and sewer discharge costs.
Contact us at Whywait Plumbing now to discuss how you can benefit by installing ZeroFlush waterless urinals as we can guarantee the following:
- the reduced capital cost to install as no expensive electronic water flushing systems are required
- reduced maintenance costs with no water reticulation valves to maintain
- simple and easy cleaning procedures with our natural enzyme cleaning products
- reduction in blocked drains and drainage traps
- all products used in the manufacture and maintenance of ZeroFlush waterless urinals are environmentally sustainable
Determining exactly how much water a ZeroFlush waterless urinal keeps from the Gold Coast Water sewer system is somewhat complicated. The number depends on a variety of arguable variables, such as the amount of water that a water flushing urinal would use, the number of people using the urinal and how often those people will use it.
A single water flushing urinal can use anywhere from 50,000 litres to 180,000 litres of water every year. Once again this is based on multiple variables such as the size of the building, the number of male employees and how many times they use the urinal each day. A building such as a factory with one bathroom facility, three ZeroFlush waterless urinals and 120 male employees, would save approximately 900,000 litres of water each year.
Calculating the payback period for installing ZeroFlush waterless urinals can be a complicated process. Using the average of $9 per 1,000 litres of water from Gold Coast Water and the example of an office with four men working in it, we can come up with some estimates.
Let’s say each man flushes a urinal 2,000 times per year or about 5.5 times per day, meaning that the four men flush the toilet 4,000 times a year in the office. With an older, water flushing urinal using 15 litres per flush will use 60.000 litres, costing about $540 every year just for water.
Ultimately, ZeroFlush waterless urinals save more water than money, but we guarantee that they are still worth the investment in sustainability.
Despite recent floods, Australia is still the world’s driest continent. Only five years ago, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane were on the verge of running out of potable water. Not only in Australia but across the world, the water supply is being strained by climate change and the growing food, energy and sanitary needs of a fast-growing population. The United Nations has completed a study that calls for a radical rethink of national policies to manage potable fresh drinking water.
The United Nations report released by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova points out the following on the management of the worlds drinking water:
- Freshwater is not being used sustainably
- Accurate information remains disparate, and management is fragmented
- The future is increasingly uncertain, and risks are set to deepen
The report identifies the demand from agriculture, which already sucks up around 70 per cent of freshwater used globally, as the problem area. Agricultural use of water is likely to rise by at least 19 per cent by 2050 as the world’s population swells from an estimated 2 billion people to 9 billion. In addition, to meet the population demands, farmers will need to grow 70 per cent more food by 2050 as rising living standards mean individuals demand more food and meat in particular.
In Australia, a silent revolution has taken place underground, as the amount of water sucked below the surface from the vast underground aquifers has tripled in the past 50 years, removing a buffer against drought. This is occurring in many other countries and is causing alarm for farmers and cities that rely on these water flows.
Worldwide as demand increases for water supply in many regions is likely to shrink because of changing rainfall patterns, more significant droughts, melting glaciers and altered river flows. Water stress is already being felt in Australia, South-East Asia and Africa, with climate change predicted to drastically affect food production through 2030. Asia, in particular, is suffering water stress, with 60 per cent of the world’s population but only around a third of water resources. Unless management policies are drastically altered by 2070, water stress will also be felt in central and southern Europe.
A separate water study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released last week forecasted world water demand would rise by 55 per cent by 2050, with more than 40 per cent of the global population likely to live in water basins facing water stress. With limited supply, governments will have to manage better the competing demands of farmers, energy producers and humans demanding drinking water and sanitation. Policy interaction must change now between the diverse communities of users, decision-makers and isolated water managers. To date, a lack of coordinated policy has caused severe degradation of the water resources in all countries.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed that the United Nations aims to raise the proportion of people with access to safe potable drinking water by 2015, which was reached at the end of 2010. Even though French charity Solidarites International states, 1.9 billion people remained without safe drinking water, not the 783 million estimated by the United Nations.
Water remains the basis of all life, and its management is a world problem that needs tackling now.
Whywait Plumbing believes simple things matter with water conservation, such as low flush toilets, low flow taps, the moderate water pressure of 500kPa and using waterless urinals.
Waterless urinals are much more than water conservation
Commercial building owners ten years ago 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 especially for businesses that had a high movement of people that the cleanliness of their toilet facilities boosted the success of that business.
ZF101 Zeroflush waterless urinals being installed at Enoggera army base by David Hutchins of Whywait Plumbing
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 bathroom 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 challenging 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 Whywait Plumbing has not only pioneered but continued to develop a product in is waterless urinals. Waterless urinals such as ZeroFlush 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.
ZeroFlush waterless urinals reduce odours
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 virtually 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.
Waterless urinals reduce disease-carrying microorganisms
Dr Michael Hoffman, professor of environmental 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.
ZeroFlush waterless urinals ensure a user-friendly experience
Waterless urinals require minimum maintenance to ensure a clean, hygienic, sustainable, user-friendly experience. The ZeroFlush waterless urinal installed by Whywait Plumbing requires like all urinals periodic maintenance. At the same time, daily it is merely a matter of a simple spray of the urinal with 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 limescale or calcite build-up, which makes cleaning fast and easy.
With ZeroFlush 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.
To find out more about ZeroFlush waterless urinals call Whywait Plumbing on (07) 5580 4311 to organise a site audit.
Waterless urinals increase water sustainability
Falcon waterless urinals at The Oasis Shopping Centre installed by Whywait Plumbing in 1998
In 1998 Whywait Plumbing installed the first waterless urinals on the Gold Coast at The Oasis Shopping Centre. At that time the owners of The Oasis Shopping Centre, Thakral Holdings had as Engineering Director, Tony Harvey. Tony Harvey was ahead of his time focusing on setting sustainability targets for all Thakral properties in both electricity and water.
These first waterless urinals were fibreglass Falcon urinals with disposable cartridges. To say they were not successful was an understatement. We were continually servicing the Falcon urinals as they suffered from frequent blockages due to their cartridge design. The cost to replace cartridges constantly far outweighed the water-saving benefits at that time.
Servicing these Falcon waterless urinals became a detested task by Whywait’s plumbing technicians as invariably removing the cartridge resulted in getting covered in urine that was in the cartridge. To all of our plumber’s relief we ripped them out and replaced them with ZeroFlush waterless urinals in 2004.
Water flushing urinals stink
Traditional water flushing urinals are a significant waster of potable water in most commercial buildings. Most men are aware of that distinctive odour of male public toilets. Contrary to popular believe that odour is not usually from the urinals. It is, in fact, an odour created by the mixing of water vapour and urine creating bacteria that thrive in the wet environment of the grout in the tiled floors and walls.
In fact the installation of Australian WaterMark approved waterless urinals such as ZeroFlush creates a dry environment that does not allow bacteria to grow in the tile grout and create that distinctive odour. A properly maintained and serviced waterless urinal will give trouble free service, eliminate expensive and ever increasing water costs plus reduce carbon emissions.
Do waterless urinals stink?
Whywait Plumbing technicians have investigated numerous instances of waterless urinals being blamed for blocked drains or odours. In reality this is consistently not the case as investigation always reveals the real causes such as dry floor wastes, incorrect installation or incorrect servicing.
The most common cause is inappropriate or non-existant servicing procedures. Far too many plumbers fail to upskill themselves with current sustainability skills, methods or requirements. Often these same plumbers fail to read simple instructions on servicing methods and requirements and instead advocate the removal of the waterless urinals. It is normally simple to identify the poor servicing as the plumbers maintaining the urinals fail to purchase servicing materials and then blame the waterless urinals for poor performance.
Whywait Plumbing is aware of buildings where government subsidies have been paid to the owners to install waterless urinals and ignorant building managers have allowed plumbing companies to remove the urinals and replace them with expensive water guzzling urinals. The plumbers who undertake these activities are in our opinion conducting a fraud and their motives are transparent.
This approach is to the detriment of their clients and the community as a whole whom have embraced sustainability to make efficient use of expensive water and protect our environment.
If you want assistance with your urinals contact Whywait Plumbing on (07) 5580 4311 to organise a site audit.