Daily Show host Trevor Noah believes everyone is at their most vulnerable state when in the bathroom.
That even all the greats have had to use the bathroom and it is the one thing that unites us all.
Do you agree?
If yes, then washrooms must have high-security and biometrics right? Not necessarily.
Your washroom says a lot about you and the way you run your business.
There are a few fundamentals that go into having the best washrooms around. Hygiene, maintenance, and ambience definitely make it to the top of the list.
Buckle up and let’s see if high-efficiency urinals easily work alongside these attributes and save you money.
What Are High-Efficiency Urinals?
Urinals are sanitary plumbing fixtures meant for urination purposes only.
It can take the form of a container or simply a wall, with drainage and automatic or manual flushing. Some are even operational without any water involved, as is the case for waterless urinals.
Urinals come in different designs. The most common urinals are either intended for a single user or provide a trough design for multiple users. They are used in a standing position.
Whereas urinals are generally intended for male use, there are designs for females on the market.
A high-efficiency urinal is a fixture that functions at 0.5-gallons per flush (gpf) (1.9 litres per flush (lpf) ) or less.
The process for flushing the flushometer valve is no different from conventional and ultra-low flush urinals.
It only requires a higher pressure and higher velocity for the supply water and a smaller opening in the midsection of the flush valve.
This is great because it is a threshold that provides 50% less water usage than the current U.S. national standard (maximum) mandated by the U.S. Energy Policy Act in 1992, which became effective in 1994.
There are still more innovative urinals coming into play, and water authorities/designers use this 50% threshold as a measure of their plumbing fixture retrofit programs.
1. Get Your Money Back
If your washrooms experience a lot of traffic (let’s assume you have staff working a five-day week and using the facilities four times a day), can you begin to imagine the water and energy going to waste here?
You can choose to retrofit your washrooms with high-efficiency or even waterless urinals to save on cost.
Retrofitting is the act of modifying equipment that still works using parts that were developed or made available after the time of the original manufacture.
You can choose to put up a full fixture replacement or simply upgrade the valves with flushometers.
There are rebate programs involved when some establishments make the switch to high-efficiency toilets.
For example, the New Zealand Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (NZWELS) scheme helps New Zealanders evaluate the water efficiency of varied fixtures.
NZWELS-regulated products include washing machines, toilet suites, urinals, showers, taps dishwashers and flow controllers. Retailers must display the efficiency ratings of these fixtures in easy to see areas.
The mandatory labels are available for download in a variety of formats.
Water is not necessarily free. It needs to be processed and delivered before it gets to you.
You are charged by your local utility every time you use water. The greater the demand for water, the higher the cost. By conserving water, you will save money both in terms of the price per unit and the quantity used
2. Save on Maintenance
If your high-efficiency urinals are well looked after, then your maintenance costs will be much lower than the cost of maintaining conventional urinals.
“Urinals are designed to last for long periods of time. Usually, the only part that breaks down is the flush valve, and this can be fixed relatively easily. Because urinals can remain functional for many years they rarely go out of style. Facilities seldom need to replace them unless a washroom is being remodelled,” states Klaus Reichardt, founder and managing partner of the manufacturer Waterless Co.
A high-efficiency toilet contains fewer moving parts. This means fewer breakdowns and servicing on your end.
Make a point of inspecting the valves and checking for worn parts at least once every year.
Extensive flush cycles and running valves may indicate a clogged bypass opening in the valve or improper sealing.
If it does break down, you will have to hire someone qualified to fix it. This is because it might be difficult to obtain some parts and you could make matters worse trying to DIY your way out of it.
3. Water Conservation
The idea is to save as much water as possible!
Saving water helps preserve our environment. The supply may seem abundant, but water is not a limitless resource. Especially the fresh potable water most necessary for human survival.
Did you know? It’s been estimated that by 2050, 9.7 billion people will live in water-stressed areas according to research conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
With newer urinal inventions on the market, you could even choose to upgrade to fixtures that will help you conserve more water. If you’re switching from a 1-gallon version a 0.5 gpf model, it will cut your water use in half.
And it gets even better…
You could choose 0.25 and 0.125 gpf versions, which can make do with a pint of water to flush!
These make high-efficiency urinals quite, well, efficient, seeing as the flushing system can be quite forceful. You don’t need to flush twice and toilet clogs are quite rare, even in older plumbing pipes.
4. Energy Consumption
Energy tends to go to waste when water is overused.
Water in your home or business must be heated for several uses, such as bathing and cleaning, and this takes up energy. It also takes energy to flush urinals.
High-efficiency toilets are energy efficient because they depend on water velocity instead of removing waste by using water volume.
You can use this energy cost calculator to evaluate how much water and energy goes to waste in your establishment.
5. Odour Control
Without proper care, the state of your washroom can quickly deteriorate. This is bad for your business, especially if you have potential clients visiting the premises.
Splashbacks are a common occurrence in the urinal area.
Poor cleaning and odour can lead to an unhygienic environment. This is not only bad for business but could potentially harm the health of your employees if they contract bacteria.
Consider investing in urinal tabs.
These are blocks of perfumed crystals used primarily in urinals as a deodoriser.
Urinal tabs are heavy-duty products that also repel silverfish and moths. All you have to do is place the tab at the bottom of the urinal and replace them often.
Alsco New Zealand offers odour control services tailored to your washroom.
You won’t need to worry about the maintenance and replacement of dispensers for your washroom once we install them. This service is customised to your business needs as part of Alsco’s managed rental service.
Let us do the worrying for you.
Take it from one of our clients:
“On behalf of Education Action, we would just like to say a huge thank you to your employee Margaret, who completes this service to the very best of her ability.
We very much appreciate the work she does, and if it was not for her, we would have never had known what was wrong with our urinals. It was on her recommendation that we get them looked at.
By doing this, she could help us fix the problem before it got much worse, and for that, we want to say thank you.
We appreciate all that Margaret and the Fresh and Clean team at Alsco do, and we look forward to working with your team in the future.
Thanks a million.”
Shaan Antunovich, Manager, Education Action
Photo: Creative Commons