Details on waterless urinals for women? - and for female pupils in schools in Africa

  • Bjorn
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Re: Details on waterless urinals for women?

In relation to urinals for boys and girls in schools the urinal can positively be designed the same way. What we need are elevated footrests that directs the user to the right place which avoids soaking all over the place. In between the footrests is a sloping surface that leads the urine off to a channel along a wall. Men will comfortably pee against the wall allowing the pee to drain down to the channel along the wall.

Adding a hand washing facility at the upper end of the wall-channel will help to reduce the smell. At the end of the channel the urine can be collected or allowed to drain into the soil in a soakaway pit. Making the soakaway hollow a bucket for collection of the urine can be placed inside. If overflowing the excess urine will just infiltrate. Some crush at the bottom will help to infiltrate the excess urine.

In Malawi and Angolan schools the same system was used without footrests. Just a smooth impermeable area draining towards the wall channel. In dry weather to urine would dry quickly, and in the rain the cleaning is automatic.

Comments are welcome
Bjorn Brandberg
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  • muench
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Re: Details on waterless urinals for women?

Dear Patrick,

I just wanted to react to your post of 3 December where you mentioned the Uridan urinals with the oil-based odor seal. This kind of odor seal is not bad but it does have some drawbacks. For people interested in the pros and cons of different odor seals for waterless urinals see here:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/172-ur...ne-diversion-toilets

My personal conclusion when I was doing quite some work on waterless urinals a few years ago is that seals without oil but which rather use the flat rubber tube valve (e.g. by Keramag) or silicon curtain valves (e.g. EcoSmellStop) are more cost effective in the longer term.

Nevertheless I would be interested to find out how well that waterless urinal for women by Uridan is selling in Denmark or other countries! Does anyone have any information on this or could easily find out something?

Regards,
Elisabeth

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Re: Details on waterless urinals for women?

Dear Bjorn!

Welcome to the SuSanA forum! I am happy to see you here - I have heard your name before, I think it was Belinda Abraham from UNICEF who had told me about your work in Malawi but that was some years ago.*

You said:

In Malawi and Angolan schools the same system was used without footrests.

Could you please tell us a bit more about this? Who was promoting this? Can you please direct us to any reports or photos of such waterless urinals for boys and girls in schools?

Regards,
Elisabeth


* It might have been in the context of preparing this paper, but I am not sure now:
Abraham, B., Kakumbi, G. M., Alam, M. M., von Münch, E. (2011). Alternative solutions for challenging environments: A look at UNICEF-assisted ecosan projects worldwide. 35th WEDC Conference, Loughborough University, UK
www.susana.org/en/resources/library/details/1257

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  • muench
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Re: Details on waterless urinals for women? - and for female pupils in schools in Africa

I got the following reply by Björn Brandberg by e-mail on 7 May 2016:

++++++++++

The idea was born in Malawi where I was a National sanitation adviser in discussion about school latrines, using sanplats on a gravel bed draining the urine towards an infiltration pit. To save on cost we thought we could drop the partitioning walls as the girls were quite relaxed to urinate in the open.

In Mozambique on a consultancy for WaterAid we made particiatory design of public latrines with a group of local women of different ages in a simple role play we simulated the layout with bricks on the ground. The women were of the opinion that women should have no problem in sharing the same space for urination. We also positioned the urinal so that the hand washing water was led through urine drain, hence reducing he smell.

My friend and colleague Thornbjorn Norremark took the idea to Angola where where he was building school latrines with Development Workshop. He had omitted the footrests, just a sloping slab and an infiltration pit. According to Thorbjorn it worked very well.

For a UNICEF school sanitation project in Malawi the Angola design was recommended and worked well.

As Belinda Abraham (UNICEF) transferred from Malawi to Ethiopia she took the design with her where I understand it was very well received.


This is as much as I can remember. My own assessment of the design is that the girls latrine can have the same design criteria as the boys’ latrines. The queuing to the cubicles can be reduced to a minimum and and costs reduced. The latrines may also last longer as the mixture of urine and faecal matter commonly clogs the soil around the pit.

I hope this is helpful.
Björn

+++++++++++

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