A trio of waterless urinals in a men's restroom

In commercial men’s restrooms, waterless urinals are a rarity — though they’re becoming more popular. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why many in the industry seek advice in how to better clean waterless urinals — often times they want to know how to clean them.

As CEO and founder of waterless urinal manufacturer, Waterless Co., Klaus Reichardt fields just about every question there is regarding the waterless urinal. Years ago, he was often asked things like “How do they work?“ and “How much water can they save?” Today, the questions he receives are more complex. Those questions — and Reichardt’s answers to them — are listed below, courtesy of Waterless Co.

Question 1: Do we need them?

This all depends on the number of males using the building and if this is new construction or restroom renovation. If new construction, there are few reasons not to install no-water urinals. If a retrofit, and ten or fewer males use the facility, the return on the investment may not prove worthwhile at this time. But with rising water and sewer rates, reconsideration may be necessary at a future date.

Question 2: What is the return on investment?

This can vary, based on the number of males in the facility, water and sewer rates, and the age of the urinals. Waterless urinals range in price from $250 to $500 per unit. In most cases, the return on the investment is about two years or less.

Question 3: Do they cost more to install than traditional urinals?

No, installation charges are usually less because no flush valves or water lines are involved.

Question 4: If we installed waterless urinals and then remove them, will we lose our LEED certification?

Yes, if many of the LEED credits earned by the facility were due to reduced water consumption.

Question 5: Don’t the costs of the cartridges exceed the water cost savings?

The answer is yes, and no. Some cartridges are costly and must be replaced every couple of months. Others are relatively inexpensive and interestingly, last longer. Investigate the different systems available before selecting any no-water urinals.