News Analysis

Why Non-Flushing Urinals Fail (And How to Prevent Those Failures)

November 1, 2004

A March 2003 survey conducted by Roger van Gelder, a water conservation specialist with Seattle Public Utilities, revealed that most facilities were pleased with their urinals, but some were not. At the time, urinals from the Waterless Company and Falcon Waterfree dominated the Seattle market, with a small number from Duravit as well. The survey found no significant difference in overall satisfaction with models from the three manufacturers. Van Gelder spoke with representatives at 22 facilities with a total of 172 nonflushing urinals installed. The results of his survey are reported in the accompanying table.

“My enthusiasm for waterless urinals has waned over time,” says van Gelder, adding: “Some people like them, some don’t. You can’t say, ‘Use this and you won’t have any problems.’ When they do fail, they tend to fail suddenly. They clog, and suddenly you have a big pool of smelly urine in the bowl,” he told