The Ecoblue Cube, shown here by the drain, can convert conventional flushing urinals to near-waterless operation, while avoiding some of the pitfalls of waterless urinals.
Even as lower gallon-per-flush standards have reduced the water use of conventional urinals in recent years, both ultra-low-flush urinals and waterless models have opened possibilities for even greater water conservation. Although urinals that use 1.0 gallon of water per flush (gpf; 6 lpf), or even more, meet relevant codes, these models are now obsolete, environmentally speaking. Yet the expense of replacing them and the perceived risk of installing urinals with newer technology may be too great in many buildings. Now a product using beneficial bacteria promises to convert conventional urinals to virtually waterless operation while also reducing their odor and maintenance needs.
The Ecoblue Cube is a two-inch-square (50-mm-square) block intended to sit on the drain of a standard urinal. It slowly releases bacteria, which multiply and form a biofilm that lines the bowl, trap, and pipes. The bacteria metabolize uric acid, the culprit behind urine odor and uric scale. By reducing or eliminating this odor, the bacteria also eliminate the need to flush after every use. Depending on how the urinal operates and drains, flushing may be necessary just once a day, during regular cleaning.