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  • Overview of different waterless urinal technologies

    If you’re considering switching to waterless urinals then it’s worth knowing something about the different types of waterless urinal technology that are available and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

    There are essentially four types of waterless urinal technology.

    1. Oil-based barrier systems
    2. Chemical-based barrier systems
    3. Sleeve technology
    4. URIMAT ActiveTrap technology

    Oil-based barrier systems

    Replaceable cartridges are installed in the urinal and an oil-based seal forms a barrier through which the liquid urine cannot pass back. However, the biggest problem with this method is that the oil seal can easily be damaged if any water at all ends up going down the urinal. All it takes is a cleaner to sluice a bucket of water down the urinal and the oil seal is broken irreparably, requiring the cartridge to be replaced otherwise the washroom quickly begins to smell as the seal is no longer able to trap odours. Hence maintenance costs for oil-based systems tend to be very high and washrooms using them can be smelly.

    Chemical-based barrier systems

    These systems work on the same principle as the oil-based systems but using chemicals instead of oil in their cartridges. This means that they tend to be a bit more robust as the chemical barrier isn’t damaged by water in the same way as the oil would be. However, these systems tend to struggle in washrooms with high footfall. The chemical cartridge dissolves as it is used and in high footfall washrooms the the cartridge can need replacing at least monthly, sometimes even more often. If the cartridge is not replaced as soon as the chemical runs out then odour will immediate start to re-enter the washroom. Hence maintenance costs tend to be high for these systems as well, although they can work effectively in washrooms that do not experience such high footfall.

    Sleeve technology

    There are two different versions of sleeve technology: those that are retrofitted into existing urinals and those that require the installation of a new urinal.

    Retrofit sleeve technology

    This option uses an insert into your existing urinal. The insert  contains a short membrane that acts as a one way valve designed to prevent odour from entering the washroom. Typically these membranes tend to be short and do not have any pinch points so they struggle to sustain performance in heavy footfall washrooms.

    A major issue with retrofit products is the fact that installers often come in and simply turn the water supply off and install the cartridge into the existing urinal without replacing the waste pipework. This pipework already has urine stains within in that will cause odour in the washroom.

    This approach to installation can also leave the client at serious risk of legionella. It isn’t sufficient to just turn off the water supply as that leaves you with a live cold water supply that quickly begins to stagnate and can become a breeding ground for legionella. So, although retrofit options are often promoted as being cheaper than installing new urinals, the price difference between the two is much less when the cost of a proper safe and hygienic installation of the retrofit option is taken into account, as well as the higher cost of maintenance.

    URIMAT ActiveTrap membrane

    The URIMAT ActiveTrap also uses a membrane, but its membrane is 90mm long, much longer than the membranes one typically sees on retrofit solutions. The membrane also includes two pinch points meaning that there is no way that any odour can be released back into the washroom.

    This makes URIMAT urinals much more robust than any other waterless urinal on the market. They are well able to  handle high footfall environments like shops, hotels and football stadiums, and maintenance costs tend to be much lower than for any other option.

    URIMAT technology has a worldwide patent so there is nothing else like it on the market. We offer both new install and retrofit options although our recommendation would always be to install new urinals wherever possible rather than opt for the retrofit solution.

    This is because of the issues that can arise when capping off your water supply for retrofit solutions, as discussed above. A new, clean installation gives your whole washroom an aesthetic upgrade, removes the risk of odour from lingering urinal stains in your old waste pipes, and ensures that your cold water supply is ‘dead legged’ safely.

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    Lord Rupert Redesdale

    Lord Redesdale was the Energy Spokesman for the Liberal Democrats for the House of Lords 2000-2008 during which time he introduced many members’ bills in the area of energy and conservation.

    Lord Redesdale is the CEO of the Energy Managers Association (EMA). The EMA aims to promote the development of energy management and the career structure of Energy Managers in the British economy.

    In 2016, Lord Redesdale co-founded The Water Retail Company (TWRC) with Professor Jacob Tompkins. TWRC is a licensed retailer with a focus on water efficiency and reduction strategy for its customers.

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    Professor Jacob Tomkins

    Jacob is the the co-founder and CTO of The Water Retail Company. Jacob trained as a civil engineer with degrees from UCL and Imperial. He worked as an academic, was water lead for the National Farmers’ Union and freshwater advisor at Water UK. He set up and ran Waterwise the water efficiency NGO for over 10 years. He has developed EU water legislation and recently chaired a UK Govt task force on resilience in the water sector.

    He is currently writing two books for Wiley on water efficiency and water and behaviour. He is a visiting Prof at Exeter University and has an OBE for services to water efficiency.

     

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    Harvey Djangogly

    Harvey brings over ten years of experience designing, leading, and evaluating initiatives that engage individuals, households, and employees in sustainable living, and that motivate pro-environmental change. Harvey works with and advises public, private and civic sector organisations in the UK and U.S. and abroad, focusing in particular on his passion –sustainable water use and efficiency.

    Harvey believes in the dual approach of “behaviour change” harnessed with innovative technology to achieve the goals of meeting water and carbon footprint reduction targets. The FlowlessTM by WINT solution, epitomises Harvey’s philosophy by allowing customers to monitor their water use in real time, empowering them to save water by introducing efficiencies and most importantly preventing and detecting escape of water and leaks thereby providing water security to the client’s facility/workplace

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    Marcel Napflin

    Marcel Näpflin is a long-standing member of the management team of URIMAT Schweiz AG, a leading manufacturer of environmentally friendly products in the sanitary industry. As Director for Marketing & Sales and Member of the Executive Board, Marcel has been responsible for the international marketing and sales strategy and the worldwide expansion of URIMAT. Under his leadership URIMAT developed numerous worldwide patented product innovations which save water, improve hygiene and reduce carbon footprint in restrooms.

    In his role as Business Development Manager Marcel was responsible for the development and launch of URIMAT-CONNECT, a cloud-based digital advertising system built into multi-media waterless urinals which dynamically deliver real time advertising messages via the internet. Marcel is a graduate business economist and has commercial diploma in banking. After he started his professional career in banking he worked in various management positions in the Sporting Goods Industry. 

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    Marcus Rose

    Marcus Rose is Managing Director at Ecoprod and URIMAT UK. He is a fully qualified mechanical engineer by training & background, with many years’ experience in the construction industry especially related to mechanical, sanitary and washroom applications.

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    Paul Musgrove

    For the last 3 decades Paul has worked in the UK and International Projects Business to deliver  correct solutions for customers in an ethical and consultative and technical approach.

    He has qualifications in commercial contracting working in healthcare environment, for the last 12 years specialising in water-related products.

    Today, sustainability aspects are key whilst also balancing this with keeping water ways moving and clean. Understanding how water is stored and delivered in buildings with an awareness on pathogens in our waterways, and how we as manufacturers can change products to help with infection reduction.

    His greatest achievement, second to his family, is the work he carried out in Botswana, working at a high level with government officials to deliver five new hospitals over four years in very poor conditions, which required the development of new communities, housing, schools etc.

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