May 5th, 2017
Waterless Urinals is the idea of an NGO called Reap Benefit, which builds the next generation of problem solvers, by involving youth in developing skills, local data, and solutions to solve local environment and civic problems.
The state of Public Toilets in our country is pitiable and most of us would rather not even use them, preferring instead to hold it in. A public space which deters the entry of people rather than inviting them defeats its purpose. A matter of serious concern in the area of sanitation is the stench of urine which persists in many schools and public urinals. A lot of people insist on using an open space even when there is a toilet in close proximity. Observations such as these, as well as instances visible in many government-aided schools where students preferred to use every other available space for urinating save the toilet, prompted us to find a solution to this particular problem.
The journey of the Waterless Urinals began just as most Reap Benefit stories do, and that is with the question, Why?’. Why were students urinating outside the toilet rather than in the toilet? Why did the toilets smell so much? What was responsible for the smell?
The first step to the challenge was to discover exactly what caused the smell and how to combat it. A few lessons spent brushing up on science revealed a rather simple explanation for the cause of smell in toilets. Urine contains ammonia and after flushing, uric acid is released. This uric acid mixes with air which is responsible for that stench lingering in the toilet long after one has finished his/her business. The solution to minimize and eradicate smell is actually really simple, all one has to do is flush properly. However, this solution is not the simplest for a country like ours, where accessibility to water and water shortages is a daily nightmare for so many. Hence, an alternative solution had to be found to cut off the smell which required minimal water.
Initially water- less urinal was manufactured with the help of 20 litre water can. With data and feedback now water-less urinals are made using aluminium sheet for durability and cost effective.