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Restroom Care

Omitting An Omnipresent Odor

September 19, 2010
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Editor''s note:

The following letter was recently sent from a veteran JanSan expert who is confused by a facility''s choice to remove its no-water urinals because of a supposed malodor issue.

It can be argued that the problem lies in a lack of thorough cleaning to effectively remove the urine deposits and other soils harboring odor-causing bacteria.

An odor problem can exist in any restroom that is not properly cleaned.

Letter To The Editor:

As a writer for the professional cleaning industry for more than a decade, and with a client that manufactures waterless urinal systems, I have been a bit baffled by recent news stories that the State of California''s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) building removed its no-water systems due to odor problems.

Let me say initially that this is not the first time a facility has complained about malodor problems with no-water urinal systems.

However, these problems are typically worked out when cleaning professionals meet with the manufacturers or distributors of the systems to review cleaning and maintenance procedures.

Klaus Reichardt, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Waterless Company Inc., calls this "informed maintenance."

By this, he means cleaning professionals are quickly taught what makes waterless systems different from conventional urinals and the steps necessary to keep them working properly and free of odors.

But, what most captured my attention in the news stories and commentary written about the issue is how so many men complained of "splatter" problems when using these no-water urinals.

Apparently, urine splatters on floors and walls when the urinals are used.

Although I do not know exactly what brand or model of urinal was involved, I have never heard of this complaint before.

But, we in the cleaning industry know that urine can collect on floors, walls and partitions around all urinals — whether flushed or no-water systems.

Not only can this mar surfaces, but it can also produce malodor problems.

I cannot say with certainty what is happening because I have never been in the facility.

However, it is my guess that some of the odor problem over the years — possibly even a great deal of the odor problem at this California building — was caused by urine on the floors and surrounding areas and not specifically caused by the no-water urinals as has been reported.

— Robert Kravitz, AlturaSolutions Communications

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