Good To Know: How To Build An Affordable Waterless Urinal Using Basic Everyday Materials

The Logical Indian

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.



Procedure To Build Water-less Urinal



  • Tin Sheet: 0.3mm thick – 15 inches by 20 inches
  •  Aluminum strips: 14 inches length (1 unit) and 8 inches length (2 units)
  •  m-seal – 2 units
  • Tin funnel: 10 inches diameter – 1 unit
  • Drainage mouth: 50mm diameter – 2 units
  • Nuts and Bolts: m4 – 30 units



  • Hammer File (for smoothening metal edges)
  • Scissors
  • Measuring Tape
  • Screw Driver Set
  • Nails
  • Marker
  • Drill Gun
  • L-Angle Rod


Step 1 :  Preparing the metal sheet: Mark and cut the tin sheet as given in the diagram below

 Preparing the metal sheet


Step2 : Hem the edges

  • Hem the edges: Since the edges of the cut metal sheet will be very sharp, they will have to be bent to make them user-friendly. Bend the edges using the L- angle rod and a hammer.


  • The end product will look like this:


  • Using a pair of scissors, cut off the sharp corners. 


  • Use a file to soften the cut corners.


Step 3 :  Prepare the funnel

  • Prepare the funnel: Keeping the center of the funnel mouth as a reference point, drill holes at 0, 90 and 180 degrees as shown in the diagram.


Step 4 : Make holes in the sheet:

  • Bend the sheet to match the mouth of the funnel.


  • Next, mark the sheet to match the holes on the funnel.


  • Remove the sheet and make holes. For this purpose, use a hollow solid and place it under the sheet.



  • Then using a nail and hammer, make holes in the metal sheet.


Step 5 : Attach the metal sheet to the funnel

  • Using screws attach the metal sheet to the funnel.


Step 6 : Prepare Aluminium strip

  •  Drill holes on both ends of aluminium strips leaving about 1 inch from the top edge and 3/4 inch at the bottom. 


Step 7 : Attach the aluminium strips to the metal sheet and the funnel

  • Mark the sheet where the aluminium strips will be attached. The longest aluminium strip will support the metal sheet in the centre and the smaller ones will be placed on the sides.


  • Make holes in the metal sheet according to the markings using a nail and hammer. Now attach the strips with nuts and bolts to the funnel.



  • This is what the back of the urinal will look like.


  • The urine bowl is ready to be fitted with a TT ball.

Note: The Urine Ball blocks the smell of the urine to emanate out from inside.

Step 8 : Fitting the TT Ball

  • Place three pieces of m-seal or plastic strips to make a mount for the TT Ball in the drain mouth.



  • Place the TT ball on the mount as shown in the above picture. Use the second drainage mouth to cover the first one containing the TT ball and seal both together with M-seal.




Step 9 : Attaching the contraption to the funnel

  • Attach the drainage mouths containing the TT ball to the funnel using m-seal.


  • The urinal is now ready to be attached a conventional drainage setup.


The urinal may be connected to conventional drainage or may be mounted directly on top of a regular bathroom drain.


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