Issue Date: June 13, 2011
Pondering Waterless Urinals
I’m not sure where James Krug, CEO of Falcon Waterfree Technologies, gets his idea that “water from flushing promotes the growth of bacteria as well as the creation of unpleasant odors” as opposed to the urine itself (C&EN, May 9, page 56). Doesn’t he know that urine is mostly water? Has he never smelled a diaper that has been wet an hour or so? Or a cloth diaper that has been in a diaper pail for a few hours?
I have used waterless urinals several times (in state and national parks in Texas). They are a great invention, especially in areas with limited water supplies, but they have never been odor-free, which I attribute to urine that has not drained down into the trap—again showing that the urine itself produces ammonia, not added water.
League City, Texas
The Newscripts article about waterless urinals was interesting. However, waterless urinals have been in use for centuries; they’re called outhouses!
Charles A. Soucek
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