When making purchasing decisions, businesses are always focused on the benefits. While costs are always a factor, ultimately, it is the benefits that may derive from the purchase that take center stage.
When it comes to saving water and using water more efficiently, typically, the critical benefit business owners see if they install waterless urinals is that hundreds, if not hundreds of thousands of gallons might be saved each year. Yes, this is important. Further, most companies around the country are taking steps today to become much more sustainability-focused, so saving water fits right in.
But they still might ask, what’s in it for us? Well, the answer is money.
A study was conducted by Annette L. Stumpf of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center. She found that by replacing a standard, 1.0 gallon per flush (GPF) urinal with just one waterless urinal, an organization could save up to $875 per year. This is based on saving 27,375 gallons of water per year; 75 uses of the urinal each day; and calculating using the water rates then in place in Seattle, Washington.
However, the savings jump if an older – pre-1992 – urinal is installed. While 1992 seems like a long time ago, urinals can last for decades, so there are still many of these older urinals around. According to Stumpf, if one of these older urinals is installed, which uses 3.5 GPF or more, 95,812 gallons of water could be saved per year. This means the savings could be as much as $3,500 annually, and remember, this is the result of just installing one waterless urinal.
However, there are some caveats to consider, most importantly, which type of waterless urinal has been selected and installed? Some no-flow urinals have very costly cylinders. These cylinders, found in virtually all waterless urinals are placed at the bottom of the urinal. Their job is to prevent sewer odors from entering the restroom.
With some companies, these cylinders can cost as much as $40 each, and, making matters worse, they tend to need replacing every two or three months. Other no-water urinals, such as those manufactured by Waterless Co., Inc, use cylinders that cost about $8 each and, here’s the clincher, may last up six months or longer.
While Stumpf did not consider this in her analysis, building owners and managers must. Before installing any no-water urinal system, due diligence is needed. Check out the different manufacturers and ask questions before making a selection. Remember, as we mentioned earlier, urinals can last for years so this is a decision you want to make carefully.
Also, ask how long the cylinders should last and ask how much they cost. While businesses may feel a sense of gratification by reducing their water consumption, the thousands of dollars in savings they may enjoy by selecting the right waterless urinals will likely be even more rewarding.
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