Following Orders: Army to Go Waterless

The U.S. Army’s Facilities Policy Division and Installation Management Agency now specifies that waterless urinals be installed in all new construction and major retrofits.

“The Army Standard for non-water using urinals is hereby approved,” states a July from the assistant chief of staff for Installation Management, which officially announced the change. “This standard is effective for projects or major repairs not yet solicited.”

The directive states that non-water-using urinals will now be an Army standard for new construction and major repairs and it will be considered a “best practice” to replace existing urinals using more than one gallon of water per flush with waterless systems.

According to Annette L. Stumpf, an Army architect at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Construction Engineering Research Lab in Champaign, Illinois, the decision to install only waterless urinals is based on the following reasons:

•    They can save up to 45,000 gallons of water per year.
•    Waterless systems require no freeze protection.
•    Electrical requirements for pumps are eliminated.
•    There is no need to provide an infrastructure for fresh (potable) water.
•    Septic loads and water treatment time are reduced.
•    The waterless systems require no installation or maintenance costs for flush handles, valves, sensors, or water supply piping.
•    No batteries, transformers, or other electronics are necessary.
•    The units are environmentally friendly.

The use of waterless urinals is also consistent with federal executive water and energy conservation requirements, and help[s] projects earn Sustainable Project Rating Tool or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design credits. All of these factors played a role in the military’s decision to adopt waterless urinal systems.

I also believe that the adoption of waterless urinal systems is very similar to the acceptance of Green cleaning and other environmentally preferable practices. Long considered a fad, ineffective, or costly, gradually all types of environmentally preferable products including cleaning chemicals, building materials, and now waterless urinals are being adopted and recognized for their value and effectiveness in protecting our environment.

Klaus Reichardt, managing partner of Waterless No-Flush® Urinals, Vista, California.

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