Desert eco adapt cartridge illegally installed in ZeroFlush waterless urinals
Yet again we have come across the installation of the Desert Eco Adapt cartridge illegally installed in ZeroFlush waterless urinals at Queensland Tennis Centre.
We immediately informed the facility manager that these products known as Desert Eco Adapt cartridges were a non-conforming product in a ZeroFlush waterless urinal. We further told Tennis Queensland of our responsibilities concerning reporting non-conforming products to the QBCC. This is due to recent amendments to the Queensland Building and Construction Act 1991, the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002, and the Building Act 1975 concerning non-conforming building products. These amendments came into effect on 1 November 2017. These amendments were effected through the passage and proclamation of the Building and Construction Legislation (Non-conforming Building Products – Chain of Responsibility and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2017.
Tennis Queensland immediately requested that we remove all of the Desert Eco Adapt cartridges and replace them with the compliant ZeroFlush EnviroSeal operating system.
Removal of the Desert eco adapt cartridge at Queensland Tennis Centre
Before removing the Desert Eco Adapt cartridges, we undertook a thorough inspection of the ZeroFlush urinals. This confirmed what had been reported that all were emitting sewer odours as they were a sloppy fit into the ZeroFlush stainless steel rim. The cartridges literally slipped up and out as we removed them as they were not sealing to the stainless steel rim on the housing.
As can be seen in the photo on the left despite being relatively new, there are urine stains on the Desert Eco Adapt cartridge as the rubber seal is not designed to fit ZeroFlush urinals and was not only allowing sewer odours to be emitted, but urine was leaking down the side of the cartridge rather than going through the waste outlet drain.
These issues can be further seen by the stains on stainless steel rim in the photo to the right. These stainless steel rims were all spotlessly clean when we serviced the urinals in December.
All of the non-conforming Desert Eco Adapt cartridges were removed, and the EnviroSeal operating systems were reinstalled along with new BioPur Wonder Wizard Tab kits after cleaning and flushing of the drains.
To the left is a photo of the five ZeroFlush ZF201 urinals after scheduled servicing and with the EnviroSeal operating systems reinstalled.
The EnviroSeal operating systems are a WaterMark approved system for ZeroFlush waterless urinals only. They were tested extensively by IAPMO R&T laboratory at 5001 East Philadelphia Street, Ontario, California 91761-2816 USA from 24/03/14 – 04/04/14. The EnviroSeal operating systems was then given WaterMark certification in Australia on 17/06/14, and it was renewed for a further three years on 07/08/15.
We were informed by Tennis Queensland’s facility manager that the Desert Eco Adapt cartridge was installed as a trial as they are significantly cheaper than the genuine ZeroFlush parts.
It was concerning that the facility manager also informed us that a licensed plumber had installed the Desert cartridges. It is an offence under the Standard Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2003, Part 4 Product Certification for a licensed plumber to install non-certified and non WaterMarked products as per the clauses on the right.
Despite claims made by the Desert Eco Systems Company at http://www.desert.com.au/products/eco-adapt-advanced/ the facts are that their cartridges have no WaterMark certification for any urinal in Australia other than their own Desert No-Flush Urinal.
All plumbing products installed in buildings in Queensland have been required to have WaterMark certification since 2003 under the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002 and the Standard Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2003.
The Watermark Certification scheme is administered at a national level by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB). The requirements for WaterMark certification is specified in the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002.
Building and Construction Legislation (Non-conforming Building Products – Chain of Responsibility and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2017
Under the primary duty of care of the new laws being the Building and Construction Legislation (Non-conforming Building Products – Chain of Responsibility and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2017, it is an offence under the Act to supply plumbing products in Queensland that doesn’t have WaterMark certification as these products do not meet the relevant regulatory provisions.
This change is designed to reduce the likelihood of non-conforming plumbing products being installed in buildings in Queensland.
More information on the Watermark certification system, including a list of certified products and information on the certification process, can be obtained from the ABCB website here: http://abcb.gov.au/ProductCertification/WaterMark-Certification-Scheme
Despite being a non-conforming product and illegal to install it is our opinion that the Desert Eco Adapt cartridge is an inferior product compared to the EnviroSeal system that has been designed, tested and certified only to be used on ZeroFlush waterless urinals.
The Desert cartridge was a sloppy fit into the ZeroFlush stainless steel rim that created sewer odour emissions that could have repercussions with members of the public that have respiratory conditions. This potentially exposes building owners and their employees to legal liabilities for having installed a non-conforming substitute product.
The Desert Eco Systems Company has a long history of substituting products and making claims that their products are a conforming product when they are not and never have been. Product substitution where the product has not been tested, and WaterMark certified for the product it is substituting is an offence under the Building and Construction Legislation (Non-conforming Building Products – Chain of Responsibility and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2017.
Everyone in the chain of responsibility needs to be aware that they are breaking the law if they authorise, instruct or install Desert Eco Adapt cartridges in any urinal that it has no WaterMark for. Under Australian consumer laws if you have installed a Desert Eco Adapt cartridge in any waterless urinal other than the Desert No Flush urinal, based on the dubious claims made to you by representatives of Desert Eco System Company, then you are not only entitled to a refund of all your money but also compensation to pay for your waterless urinals being returned to a legally compliant status as per your waterless urinals WaterMark certification.
If you have the Desert Eco Adapt cartridge installed in your urinals, then its 99% guaranteed its a non-compliant installation so contact Whywait Plumbing on (07) 5580 4311 today to organise a site audit of your urinals to ensure they are legally compliant.
Whywait Plumbing has, since 2004, been the service agent for ZeroFlush waterless urinals throughout Australia. Before that, we had, and continue to have extensive experience with installing and maintaining both the Falcon waterless urinal and the Uridan waterless urinal. As a consequence of our long and extensive experience, Whywait Plumbing is acknowledged as an expert on the installation, servicing, and maintenance of waterless urinals.
In 2006, as water shortages and drought gripped many Australian cities, so-called water sustainability companies sprung up everywhere. As always, this was to take advantage of government subsidies and offer simplistic answers to what were in reality, complex problems with water requiring expert plumbing knowledge.
One of these companies was Desert Eco who claimed they could give you a pill called the Desert urinal cube to throw into your water flushing urinal, turn off the water supply and turn it into a waterless urinal.
This, of course, was illegal then and remains unlawful now. In fact, in 2010 amendments to AS/NZS 3500.2-2003 had to be introduced to combat the damage that was occurring in urinals everywhere. These amendments clarified the requirements for the use of waterless urinals and effectively banned the practice of converting water flushing urinals to waterless urinals.
In recent years Desert Eco have renamed themselves as Desert, but they are still the same company. They continue making extravagant claims that the Desert urinal cube with a small amount of water dispersed over it every day will activate the cube releasing slowly dissolving beneficial microbes over several weeks that will break down organic matter in the drain and remove unpleasant odours. The worrying thing about this claim is that there is no organic matter in a urinal drain as urine is composed of water and salts.
Whywait Plumbing continues to see the damage that Desert Eco create with their outright lies that they have reduced high maintenance costs with their new EcoAdapt Advanced package and it can be applied to any existing or new waterless urinal. They even illegally claim that their unique Desert EcoAdapt urinal cartridge is reusable and fits nearly all waterless urinal brands.
The installation of the Desert EcoAdapt urinal cartridge in a ZeroFlush waterless urinal has once again caused problems with foul odours being emitted from the urinal and the urinal being slow to drain.
Using the Desert EcoAdapt urinal cartridge for waterless urinal servicing is entirely illegal and non-compliant on every waterless urinal and water flushing urinal in Australia.
The only urinal in Australia that can legally use the Desert EcoAdapt urinal cartridge is their own waterless Desert No Flush urinal which does have a compliant WaterMark certificate to ATS 5200.459:2004 Technical Specification for plumbing and drainage products Part 459: Waterless urinals—Wall-hung.
The use of the Desert EcoAdapt urinal cartridge in a ZeroFlush waterless urinal is illegal and non-compliant as it is in all waterless urinals. Using the Desert EcoAdapt Advanced package will leave you open to possible legal action from plumbing authorities, manufacturers and most of all from the general public for a breach of workplace, health and safety regulations.
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.