When Maintenance Gets Rough

I have personal knowledge of these because they were installed in a public park in 2000 when I managed a city parks and recreation agency in Georgia. There were no problems, and they worked great.

The science behind these devices is rather ingenious, based on the fact that urine is heavier than oil. Urine sinks through an oil-based sealing liquid and is trapped in a low-oxygen environment, trapping the odor as well. Gravity and displacement carry the urine into the normal plumbing system.

There are no buttons to push, no need for smelly air-freshener tabs. They require little maintenance other than regular cleaning and periodic checks and replacement of the sealing cartridges, which are relatively inexpensive ($40 to $100 each, depending on models, capacity, etc.). Filters are generally changed two or three times a year.

Installation costs will vary; our work was done with new construction so there was economy of scale. If in-house crews do that type of work, that’s even better.

Like any restroom device, the key to proper performance is proper installation and regular maintenance. You can’t just install and forget. These facilities actually require less maintenance because you aren’t dealing with water connections, leaks, breaks, etc.

Anybody who has an opinion about waterless urinals, please share your experience. I can only say that our devices were properly installed and maintained, and we never had any complaints, often a key indicator of success.

Rethink Landscaping

Lacking capital investment, which many localities are, there are other ways to save water.

One simple method is to examine where you are irrigating to see if there are zones you can do without to save water. Understanding that sports fields are going to be a priority, are there common areas around the fields that can be left unwatered and still be acceptably maintained?

High-profile landscaped areas may also need to be examined to see if watering can be reduced, or even eliminated and converted to a “xeriscaped” area.

I’m sure there are dozens of other water (and money)-saving ideas out there just waiting to be shared. There are so many fields, facilities, pools, pastures, playgrounds, parks, and a host of other areas PRB readers maintain or produce products to help maintain.

So, I hope that at least “the 2 percent” of readers will respond and start a conversation–about water, or about any other money or time-saving maintenance ideas you might have.

Randy Gaddo served for 15 years as a director in municipal parks and recreation after retiring from 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He developed, wrote, administered, and presented maintenance plans as well as recreation master plans during that time. Gaddo earned his Master’s in Public Administration and now lives in Peachtree City, Ga. He can be reached at (678) 350-8642 or email cwo4usmc@comcast.net.



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