Can urinals really save water? Depends on how much water a urinal uses…


How much water can a waterless urinal save a home or organization?

Well, it mostly depends on how many times it ends up being flushed.

If you take the standard 1.0 gallon of water per flush urinal and replace it with a waterless urinal, those manufacturers claim that you will SAVE UP TO 40,000 GALLONS OF WATER PER YEAR.

Of course, this depends in part on the amount of traffic that your urinal receives.  A home-installed urinal, for instance, may only be used what, at most 4 times a day?  Or about 1,000 times a year?   So you’d save at least 1,000 gallons of water by going with a urinal.  Even more than that if your standard toilet didn’t have one of those fancy “dual flush” gizmos that alters the amount of water used per flush.

What’s the old saying, “If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down”?

So all this urinal talk brings Web Watch to an observation we had while visiting the local office facilities.

The men’s room, such as they all are, had a wall of urinals.  At one of them, a gentleman was leaning close to the urinal, one elbow on the wall high above the flush lever, kind of relaxing.

It was an unusual place to relax, but whatever.

The odd part was the continual flushing the gentleman was doing with the urinal’s handle.

Whoosh!….. wait…. Woosh!…. wait…  Woosh!

Okay, we get it — some men flush the urinal while they pee, supposedly as a way to eliminate the dreaded “splash back effect”.

Other men flush the urinal as a way to… get going. Perhaps it was an old habit instilled in them by their overbearing mother during potty training.

And other men use the occasional “pre-pee flush” to wash out the previous urinal user’s remains. We want to pee in a clean bowl, thank you.

So the occasional extra flush? Fine.  But this was ridiculous — In the short time that we were in the restroom, we counted no less than 6 flushes by the man on the end of Urinal Row.

6 flushes.  6 gallons of water, wasted, for whatever reason.

It almost made us want to ask the question, if he was that pee-shy in a public restroom, why didn’t he just go and use a stall?  It would be a little more private, and would use a heck of a lot less water.

So this brings the question to bear:  how much water is actually wasted by extra urinal flushing?   What will those pee-shy men do when the traditional flush toilet goes the way of the pay phone and they have to deal with waterless units?