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Waterless urinals: a proposal to save water and recover urine nutrients in Africa

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conference contribution
posted on 12.02.2018, 15:09 by Elisabeth von Muench, P. Dahm
Waterless urinals have two important advantages compared to conventional water-flushed urinals: They save water and they allow the collection of undiluted urine, which – because of its nitrogen and phosphorus content is a valuable resource as fertiliser in agriculture. In the context of African developing countries, costs and maintenance requirements of waterless urinals need to be as low as possible. Despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of waterless (and odourless) urinals are now already in use worldwide, many municipalities are not yet aware of their existence or are reluctant to accept them as a viable option. This paper aims to reduce this knowledge gap by describing available models, odour control methods in waterless urinals (flat rubber tube, silicon curtain valve or sealant liquid), and the aspects to be considered regarding maintenance requirements and costs. Waterless urinals are a promising step towards achieving water saving, more sustainable sanitation and reduced dependency on costly artificial fertilisers, thus contributing to poverty reduction.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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WEDC Conference


VON MUENCH, E. and DAHM, P., 2009. Waterless urinals: a proposal to save water and recover urine nutrients in Africa. IN: Shaw, R.J. (ed). Water, sanitation and hygiene - Sustainable development and multisectoral approaches: Proceedings of the 34th WEDC International Conference, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 18-22 May 2009, 8p.p.


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