The drought – Impact on odour control in facilities management

2003 was Europe’s hottest summer in 500 years, and now 15 years later the records are tumbling again as European cities languish in extreme heat.

Closer to home, the New South Wales Government has declared that 100% of the entire state is now in drought. The Bureau of Meteorology is projecting less than average rainfall in the coming months throughout much of Australia.

We can’t regulate the weather, but we can lessen the side effects of it, including odour control in facilities management.

In an effort to conserve water, building codes now require minimum water usage in commercial, industrial and domestic situations. This includes moving from water demanding, to low or even so-called ‘waterless’ assets.

Waterless Urinals – What’s all the stink about?

Making the switch from water guzzling to waterless urinals provides and instant solution to high volumes of water usage. The staggering statistics from a 2015 case study cited in the article ‘Waterless Urinals making a splash downunder’, written by Lucy Marrett and published in Architecture and Design, demonstrates the point. A mere 14 waterless urinals amounted to a reduction in water usage of 87,000 litres per week.  This equates to approximately 4.5 million litres of water in a year, nearly two times the volume of a standard Olympic size swimming pool. Imagine the savings in resources, both natural and financial.

But, what about the odour?

Odour is the polite term men use when a waterless urinal ‘just stinks’. At a time when water saving is paramount, we have seen some facilities reverting to flushing urinals, or introducing cleaning protocols that defeat the purpose of having a waterless system in the first place. Why this move back to flushing? We’ve written previously about the perception of a business or organisation based on the odours people encounter when they attend a site ─ negative odour = negative impression.  Odours are proven to draw people in ─ or drive them away.

There is a solution

Let microbials or ‘Bio’ do the heavy lifting. This is the smart way towards harm minimisation. Wall hung units should have a maintenance flush to purge the pipes, while biological chemical free urinal blocks break down organic waste, soften the build-up of hard deposits, and control the dry areas. Add to this a wipe-down with a biological surface cleaner to the unit itself, and the floor area under, to combat uric acid salts build up. The results will speak for themselves:

  • Less product
  • Minimum water usage
  • Less odour
  • Asset protection

In 2005, the US Military announced that by 2025 it would ‘Own the Weather’. The published document, produced by eminent US Military Meteorologists has been widely debunked, and perhaps for good reason. We know all too well that the sun keeps shining, the wind keeps blowing, and for great expanses of the earth the rain has seemingly stopped falling.

In summary:

  • Consider carefully before reverting to flushing urinals.
  • There is an environmental disaster looming.
  • Drought is here, it is a reality.
  • Resources are precious, and under constant threat.
  • We each have a responsibility to do what we can in the capacity in which we operate.
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