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Daily Plant Masthead

Volume XXVIII, Number 5790
Tuesday, Feb 05, 2013

Sustainable Parks Corner: Parks Unveils Waterless Urinals At 5 Boro

The Citywide Services division has initiated a Parks-wide program to reduce water consumption in Parks facilities with the first installation of waterless urinals at the 5 Boro Complex on Randall’s Island. Parks is partnering with the NYC Department of Environmental Protection to reduce water consumption so that much needed repairs on the City’s aging water distribution system may be performed.

Conventional urinals use between one to three gallons of water per flush. Thus, replacing conventional urinals with waterless versions yields significant water savings. For example, in a workplace with 1,000 employees, replacing conventional urinals with waterless urinals would result in savings of approximately 1.56 million gallons annually, and an estimated $21,000 in water and sewer costs. (source: IE, Inc. report written for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Executive Office of Administrative and Finance, Operational Services Division, June 2008)

Initial costs for waterless urinals vary depending on the price of the fixtures and the price of installation. In new constructions, savings can result from eliminating water supply lines, flush valves, sensors, and in some jurisdictions, drainage hook up charges. Annual costs for servicing waterless urinals vary depending on need, price, and longevity of replaceable cartridge traps, proper usage of liquid sealant, and any specialized cleaning products where recommended. For a workplace with 1,000 employees, these costs range from approximately $1,200-$4,700 annually.

According to the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, simple payback time typically ranges from six months to three years for new installations and retrofits with waterless urinals.

Once funding is secured and additional testing is completed, waterless urinals will be installed at every Recreation Center throughout the City. The next location selected for testing is the Thomas Jefferson Recreation Center.

Ultimately, installation of waterless urinals at Parks facilities will significantly reduce water consumption, save money and pay for itself in a relatively short period of time. This creates a “win-win” situation for both Parks and DEP, producing water and dollar savings for both agencies, and simultaneously accomplishing the mission of each respective agency.

Submitted by Bill Vilkelis, Agency Energy Liaison

Did You Know?

The waterless urinal installations at 5 Boro are part of the NYC DEP’s Toilet Replacement Program – a major component of the DEP’s Water for the Future Program to reduce citywide consumption by 5% over the next seven years. These conservation programs were created to address serious leaks of 15-35 million gallons of water a day in the Delaware Aqueduct Tunnel, which connects reservoirs between Ulster and Putnam County. Shutting down the aqueduct for repairs will reduce the water supply by nearly 50% to the city distribution system, which is why the DEP is starting to roll out these urinals and other high efficiency toilets.

For more information, see the DEP’s website at


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