Friday Funny: The secret of urinals
Few people know much about how urinals are made, installed, or maintained. As long as they work and are clean, patrons generally don’t give urinals much thought. Fewer still are aware of just how much water a conventional urinal uses throughout its lifespan or about waterless urinal alternatives.
For TFM‘s coverage of this subject, see “Save Valuable Resources From Going Down The Drain” from the archives.
Take the following quiz to help improve your urinal IQ and uncover some surprising cost-saving facts about their use. (Answers appear at the end of the quiz.)
Compared to toilets, a urinal is used how many more times per day?
1. Twice as often
2. Three times
3. Four times
4. About the same
On average, how many gallons of water does a urinal use per flush?
1. Less than one gallon
2. 2 gallons
3. 2.3 gallons
4. 3.5 gallons
On average, how many gallons of water does a urinal use per year?
1. 5,000 gallons
2. 20,000 gallons
3. 40,000 gallons
4. 50,000 gallons
A conventional urinal uses as much water per year as…
1. A large public swimming pool
2. A family of 4 uses in six or seven months
3. One person uses in a year for all their personal needs
4. All of these
5. None of these
The average annual maintenance costs necessary to keep a flushed urinal operational are…
1. Less than $30 per year
Water leakage can be a problem with conventional urinals. How many gallons do conventional urinals waste due to leakage each year?
1. Less than 100
2. About 1,000
3. As much as 2,000
4. As much as 4,000
A No-Flush urinal must be cleaned with special cleaning chemicals to prevent odors and bacteria build-up.
3. Only if odors becomes a problem
An office building has about 4,000 people using the facility every day. Half of these are men. How many gallons of water are used just to flush urinals in this building every year?
1. About 200,000
2. About 1,000,000
3. About 3,000,000
4. More than 3,500,000
The main way conventional urinals prevent sewer line gasses and odors from entering a rest room is:
1. A filtering system in the drainpipe that blocks gasses and odors
2. The design of the interior trap requires some liquid to always be present in the trap, to block odors
3. There is no system because it is not a problem
4. The screen found on top of the urinal drain is used to block and prevent odors
With a waterless urinal, to prevent odors and sewer gasses from entering a rest room:
1. They use a screen just like a conventional urinal to block and prevent odors
2. They use a trap insert filled with a biodegradable liquid that blocks and prevents odors
3. There is no system and it is not a problem
4. The design of the drainpipe allows for some water to always be present in the drain, to block odors
Some educational facilities install waterless urinals for this specific reason more than any other.
1. To conserve water
2. To cut ongoing plumbing costs
3. To reduce vandalism
4. To reduce cleaning and maintenance costs
All figures and charges are estimates that may vary depending on locality, utility costs, and other factors. Source for some information: The University of Florida Dept. of Physics
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