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Waterless urinals get dry run at City Hall (Chicago)
Chicago Sun Times ^ | 5-13-2005 | GARY WISBY

Posted on 05/13/2005 8:07:09 AM PDT by Cagey

No touch, no flush. No water, even.

Waterless urinals are being tested at City Hall.

But although they are saving hundreds of thousands of gallons of precious water in 29 states -- and in high-profile venues like Disney World and the Rose Bowl -- the devices are illegal in Illinois.

Waterless urinals use a replaceable, biodegradable cylindrical filter containing a floating layer of liquid sealant. Urine penetrates the sealant, which closes to seal off odors, and goes down the drain.

"It's as benign as a sink when it's kept up," said Jim Allen of the Sloan Valve Co., based in Franklin Park. Sloan installed the five City Hall urinals in a fifth-floor men's room without charge. Each unit has a counter and an LED sensor that signals when to change the cartridge.

Plumbers unions don't like the device. Tom Sherlock, business representative for Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Union Local 130, noted that standard urinals are made of vitreous china. "The reason [waterless urinals] are being thrown out is the jury's out about all the kinds of germs that grow on plastic," he said.

City Hall's test urinals also are vitreous china, Allen said, adding that the only plastic is in the disposable cartridge.

The Illinois Department of Public Health is monitoring the trial and will "make a determination" after six months, said spokeswoman Tammy Leonard. She said if someone dumps a cup of coffee in a urinal, it could break the seal. She also said uric acid builds up on "connections" because there is no water to wash it off: "Urine can just dry on them."

But both statements are misconceptions, Allen said, pointing to third-party studies "which clearly show that water-free urinals are actually cleaner than flush urinals from a germ and bacteria standpoint."

City Hall got an exemption from the state code for the 60-day test. Selling for $300 each -- about the same as a standard flush urinal -- the units should save about 40,000 gallons of water a year, Allen said.

Savings pile up

The International Plumbing Code, law in 29 states, permits waterless devices. Illinois is under the Uniform Plumbing Code, which does not.

Under IPC rules as a federal facility, the regional Social Security Administration offices at 600 W. Madison started putting in waterless urinals two years ago and now have 85 on 12 floors.

"Initially, some of the male employees were a little apprehensive, like, 'Shouldn't we be flushing?'" said building manager Larry Smith. "But they got used to it, and we sent out an e-mail explaining how it works. It's cut way down on our water usage and sewage cost."

The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., has 259 of the urinals and saves about 130,000 gallons of water on New Year's Day alone. Pro Player stadium in Miami has the units, as do the San Diego Zoo and London's Heathrow Airport. Arizona requires them in all public facilities. They're legal in Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan and Iowa.

Lois Vitt Sale, vice chairwoman of the U.S. Green Building Council's Chicago chapter, asked, "If all the states that ring us allow this, and the Rose Bowl and Pro Player stadium are using it successfully, what do we know that they don't know?"


TOPICS: Government; US: Illinois
KEYWORDS: urinals
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Article written by Gary Wisby.

Perfect!

1 posted on 05/13/2005 8:07:09 AM PDT by Cagey
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To: Cagey
"The reason [waterless urinals] are being thrown out is the jury's out about all the kinds of germs that grow on plastic," he said.

So are we to assume that germs won't grow on vitreous china?

2 posted on 05/13/2005 8:08:46 AM PDT by Born Conservative ("Mr. Chamberlain loves the working man, he loves to see him work" - Winston Churchill)
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To: Cagey

I hate those waterless urinals. If I've been holding it for a while (like at the movies) I pre-flush and listen to the water running for "inspiration", can't do that at those waterless ones, which can be a rather painful experience.


3 posted on 05/13/2005 8:11:17 AM PDT by discostu (quis custodiet ipsos custodes)
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To: Cagey; g'nad; Sam Cree; Ramius; ecurbh; Professional Engineer; ksen; Bear_in_RoseBear; ...
Waterless urinals are being tested at City Hall.

In Virginia, we call 'em trees...

4 posted on 05/13/2005 8:13:14 AM PDT by Corin Stormhands (http://www.cafepress.com/wardsmythe)
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To: Corin Stormhands

We call them fenceposts in Texas.


5 posted on 05/13/2005 8:14:32 AM PDT by jtminton (The E.P.A.: Bringing you higher gas prices since 1970!)
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To: jtminton

We call em tires in Jersey.


6 posted on 05/13/2005 8:15:42 AM PDT by Cagey (These pretzels are making me thirsty.)
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To: Corin Stormhands
The whole concept of a waterless urinal is confusing me. I mean... what do you do with it? Stand there and look at it?
7 posted on 05/13/2005 8:22:12 AM PDT by Bear_in_RoseBear (You won't believe the things a heart could tell a mind)
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To: Cagey

We call them fire hydrants in New York.


8 posted on 05/13/2005 8:24:10 AM PDT by Sonny M ("oderint dum metuant")
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To: Cagey
they are saving hundreds of thousands of gallons of precious water in 29 states

...ummmm, Lake Michigan provides more water than Chicago can use. Water is not so precious around here. I also wonder what happens when the filter manufacturer goes out of business or decides to hike the price of the filters AFTER you commit to this approach.

Don't tell anybody, but after I build my new house, I am going to rip out the toilets after inspection and install 5 gallon flushers smuggled in from Canada.
9 posted on 05/13/2005 8:24:36 AM PDT by sittnick (There's no salvation in politics.)
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To: Sonny M

We call them subway entrances in Philly.


10 posted on 05/13/2005 8:25:34 AM PDT by dirtboy (Drooling moron since 1998...)
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To: discostu
I hate those waterless urinals. If I've been holding it for a while (like at the movies) I pre-flush and listen to the water running for "inspiration", can't do that at those waterless ones, which can be a rather painful experience.

LOL!! I am on a CPAP with a humidifier. Every night I take care of business they try and go to sleep. After about fifteen minutes of the swishing sound, I am up again. Get back in bed and sleep great the rest of the night.

11 posted on 05/13/2005 8:25:54 AM PDT by gov_bean_ counter
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To: discostu

If you need inspiration, might want to see that guy with the rubber glove.


12 posted on 05/13/2005 8:26:43 AM PDT by Old Professer (As darkness is the absence of light, evil is the absence of good; innocence is blind.)
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To: dirtboy

They call 'em "partners" in San Fransisco.


13 posted on 05/13/2005 8:27:24 AM PDT by Obadiah
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To: Corin Stormhands
About 30 years ago, when it was fashionable to wear camo painter's pants, a youthful coworker chose to wear them to work at a local hardware store. The young assistant-manager informed the employee that such attire was inappropriate and later found himself standing next to the youth at the floor-length urinal upstairs. As both stood there performing the requisite task, the assistant manager turned and started using the leg of the young, camo-clad employee as his target.

The young employee was startled and loudly protested. The assistant-manager casually stated that he hadn't seen the employee standing there, properly camouflaged after all.

14 posted on 05/13/2005 8:28:58 AM PDT by Sgt_Schultze
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To: Old Professer

Only need inspiration if I've been holding it a couple of hours. Tell the old bladder "no not yet" for too long and it has a hard time believing "yes now", a little running water fixes that right up.


15 posted on 05/13/2005 8:31:31 AM PDT by discostu (quis custodiet ipsos custodes)
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To: jtminton

I have several acres and woods surround the property - it really keeps the house clean when I'm doing dirty work and don't have to track through to take a leak.


16 posted on 05/13/2005 8:31:38 AM PDT by trebb ("I am the way... no one comes to the Father, but by me..." - Jesus in John 14:6 (RSV))
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To: Cagey

One more reason I never crap in public urinals.


17 posted on 05/13/2005 8:33:12 AM PDT by TheForceOfOne (My tagline is currently being blocked by Congressional filibuster for being to harsh.)
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To: Obadiah

You win.

echhhh...


18 posted on 05/13/2005 9:06:12 AM PDT by kenth
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To: kenth

Sorry. It was a little crass.


19 posted on 05/13/2005 9:11:15 AM PDT by Obadiah
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To: Cagey

We call em homeless in Pittsburgh.


20 posted on 05/13/2005 9:11:29 AM PDT by Gary - Peters (Kerry Insecure to relinquish Congressional Job.)
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To: sittnick

Don't tell anybody, but after I build my new house, I am going to rip out the toilets after inspection and install 5 gallon flushers smuggled in from Canada.



A $250 Toto will leave you wanting for nothing else. Flushes like a champ, quiet, and a large water surface "target" area. And will swallow up anything that would fit in the Holland Tunnel.


21 posted on 05/13/2005 10:29:15 AM PDT by Atlas Sneezed (Your FRiendly FReeper Patent Attorney)
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To: Cagey
I'm a man. The world is my toilet...
22 posted on 05/13/2005 11:09:17 AM PDT by telebob
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To: dirtboy

We call them MARTA elevators here in Atlanta,
the home of the origional Waterless/Flushless toilet.


23 posted on 05/13/2005 11:13:20 AM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: sittnick

"Don't tell anybody, but after I build my new house, I am going to rip out the toilets after inspection and install 5 gallon flushers smuggled in from Canada."

I'll help cover for you, man. But doesn't Canada have a socialist toilet policy?


24 posted on 05/13/2005 11:19:40 AM PDT by righttackle44 (The most dangerous weapon in the world is a Marine with his rifle and the American people behind him)
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To: sittnick

"...after I build my new house, I am going to rip out the toilets after inspection and install 5 gallon flushers smuggled in from Canada."

Try the Kohler Cimarron Comfort Height 4340. If you don't stand up quick enough after you flush, it'll suck you down the drain! About $400, but I got tired of sticking a plunger down the crapper.

BTW, 1.6 gal per flush.


25 posted on 05/13/2005 11:26:36 AM PDT by toddlintown (Your papers please.)
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To: Cagey; Corin Stormhands; jtminton
In Virginia, we call 'em trees...

We call them fenceposts in Texas.

We call em tires in Jersey.

In Atlanta, we call 'em homeless people.

26 posted on 05/13/2005 11:28:35 AM PDT by Lazamataz (Not Elected Pope Since 4/19/2005.)
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To: tet68
HEY!

Stop speaking for Atlanta when I'm busy speaking for Atlanta.

27 posted on 05/13/2005 11:29:08 AM PDT by Lazamataz (Not Elected Pope Since 4/19/2005.)
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To: Lazamataz

~snort~


28 posted on 05/13/2005 11:29:49 AM PDT by HairOfTheDog
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To: Cagey
"It's as benign as a sink when it's kept up,"

Key phrase: "when it's kept up." As it usually isn't, it ends up being very stinky and dirty.

29 posted on 05/13/2005 11:30:39 AM PDT by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: Lazamataz

Thank goodness I moved out to the hinterlands of
Villa Rica. It's Soooooooooo nice and peaceful out here.

You have my sincere sympathies.


30 posted on 05/13/2005 11:32:17 AM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: Gary - Peters
We call em homeless in Pittsburgh.

I hate anyone who comes up with my joke before I do.

31 posted on 05/13/2005 11:32:36 AM PDT by Lazamataz (Not Elected Pope Since 4/19/2005.)
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To: Cagey

Men never flush urinals. Our company had to install automatic flush valves because the men's rooms smelled like unmaintained outhouses in August.


32 posted on 05/13/2005 11:32:47 AM PDT by MediaMole
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To: tet68
Hotlanta ain't so bad.

Not to a former Noo Yawka.

33 posted on 05/13/2005 11:33:07 AM PDT by Lazamataz (Not Elected Pope Since 4/19/2005.)
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To: MediaMole

Lye worrks good for the tough jobs.


34 posted on 05/13/2005 11:42:48 AM PDT by johnny7 (Ever wonder what's the 'crust' in 'Ol Crusty'?)
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To: Lazamataz

you win


35 posted on 05/13/2005 11:44:51 AM PDT by Corin Stormhands (http://www.cafepress.com/wardsmythe)
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To: MediaMole
Men never flush urinals.

Correction: uncivilized, slovenly men never flush urinals.

Here in Houston, there's a larger problem with Mexican toilet habits.

After going number two and performing the requisite cleanup, many of the guys refuse to flush the paper. Either it goes into a wastebasket beside the toilet, or it goes on the floor beside the toilet.

Either way - eeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwww !

36 posted on 05/13/2005 12:12:22 PM PDT by jimt
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To: Lazamataz

Welcome South Brother.
Try to get out to the country.


37 posted on 05/13/2005 12:13:21 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: Cagey

Dave Mathews Band: "We don't need no stinking urinals."


38 posted on 05/13/2005 12:16:51 PM PDT by Fester Chugabrew
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To: tet68
Try to get out to the country.

I was, for a while. Winder, GA.

Man, them country gals sure ...... entertain a guy.

39 posted on 05/13/2005 12:17:08 PM PDT by Lazamataz (Not Elected Pope Since 4/19/2005.)
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To: toddlintown
BTW, 1.6 gal per flush. I don't WANT new technology! We will be installing a well. We do not CARE about water usage from toilets. This part of the country has more water than we know what to do with.

I don't WANT a loud pressure-based toilet. (That'll scare my 1 year old from toilet training for good!)
I don't WANT a 1.6 g./flush

I just want a simple commode that uses good ol' H2O to get the job done. If I cannot find a 5 gallon flusher, I might settle for a 3.5er.

I want the government out of my bathroom!!
40 posted on 05/13/2005 12:31:30 PM PDT by sittnick (There's no salvation in politics.)
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To: righttackle44
"Don't tell anybody, but after I build my new house, I am going to rip out the toilets after inspection and install 5 gallon flushers smuggled in from Canada."

I'll help cover for you, man. But doesn't Canada have a socialist toilet policy?


Oddly, while the Canucks are more socialist on almost everything else, we are winning the race with them for a socialist toilet policy. In fact, new toilets in America have been dumbed-down to 1.6 gal ever since 1992!
41 posted on 05/13/2005 12:36:01 PM PDT by sittnick (There's no salvation in politics.)
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To: sittnick

You obviously missed the point. Sh*t in a bucket for all I care.


42 posted on 05/13/2005 2:52:01 PM PDT by toddlintown (Your papers please.)
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To: Cagey
These new urinals don't seem to have the charm of the ones I'm used to using...


43 posted on 05/13/2005 2:57:41 PM PDT by FlJoePa (Success without honor is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger, but it won't taste good.)
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To: gov_bean_ counter

What is a CPAP with humidifier is it anything like o2 with mist?


44 posted on 05/13/2005 2:58:45 PM PDT by oceanperch ( Labrador Lover!)
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To: Obadiah

That's a good one.

Here on the Oregon Coast Range it is we just call them Trees.

Dogs use 'em and men use 'em.

One just has a higher aim.


45 posted on 05/13/2005 3:01:36 PM PDT by oceanperch ( Labrador Lover!)
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To: Obadiah

Spot on though.


46 posted on 05/13/2005 3:03:27 PM PDT by oceanperch ( Labrador Lover!)
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To: toddlintown

LOL OMG I just visualized that you flush then rise.

I just assumed that everyone rised turned and flushed.

Must have some good articles to finish.


47 posted on 05/13/2005 3:06:59 PM PDT by oceanperch ( Labrador Lover!)
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To: Lazamataz

When did you move to Alanta?


48 posted on 05/13/2005 3:08:11 PM PDT by oceanperch ( Labrador Lover!)
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To: Cagey

Does this mean no more Hanoi Jane urinal cakes?


49 posted on 05/13/2005 3:08:49 PM PDT by mewzilla
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To: Cagey

I hate these things....they alwasy stink...

In SC we call'em liberals


50 posted on 05/13/2005 3:09:31 PM PDT by Blue Scourge (Rattlers strike fast, first, and hard....)
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