Guest blogger Paul Hinkin, managing director of Black Architecture on the female urinal
We are constantly bombarded with the latest water saving technologies including low flush WC’s and waterless urinals, however there is an area where significant reduction in potable water consumption could be achieved, but for cultural reasons goes unexplored.
I refer to the female urinal. There are now a number of portable devices on the market aimed at the outdoor pursuits and festival goers that allow women to urinate standing up. However there is not yet a female equivalent of the male urinal manufactured by any of the leading sanitaryware manufacturers. This would seem to offer a hugely lucrative market opportunity with a number of significant environmental benefits.
Public female toilets are infamous for their long queues, lack of hygiene and water wastage (a low flush WC uses between two and four litres of water to flush less than 0.5 litres of urine). According to a survey undertaken by Duravit 26 per cent of women put paper on the seat and flush more than twice and an astonishing six per cent flush four times. If even a small percentage of women, who make up over half of the worlds population, were to use a urinal, water consumption would be dramatically reduced from around eight litres per use to less than 0.5 litre. This would amount to billions of litres of drinking water being saved annually.
The World Bank has identified that future wars will be fought over water. Imagine the benefits if a ’socially acceptable’ urinal alternative were available. Women could then be offered the same choices that men take for granted: to flush or not to flush!
Read Cath Hassell of Ech2o Consultants’s response to this article
Filed under: Green practice