Aberdeen tries waterless urinal as part of conservation effort

October 06, 1994|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,Sun Staff Writer

An article in Thursday's editions of The Sun incorrectly identified Aberdeen Proving Ground as one of the City of Aberdeen's biggest users of water. The proving ground does not use city water.

* The Sun regrets the error.

A waterless urinal in the men's room at Aberdeen City Hall has municipal officials convinced they have plugged a major leak in water conservation problems.

"It's so simple, it's ridiculous," Lawrence J. Gredlein, Aberdeen's deputy director of public works, said Tuesday. The technical aspects of the No-Flush urinal were known and used in Europe over 100 years ago, he said.


The model being tested in Aberdeen is manufactured and marketed by Waterless Co. in San Diego. Each waterless urinal costs about $400, depending on the model, said Klaus Reichardt, the company's president.

The No-Flush urinal is similar in appearance to the standard type, but it has no flushing handle. The bowl is precoated with a urine and water repellent to prevent bacterial growth and foul odors.

When the device is used, the waste flows around a plastic trap insert and into pipes filled with a lightweight biodegradable oil. The waste filters through the oil and gravity moves it into a connecting sewer line. After about 500 uses, the oil must be replenished.

The advantage to the device is that it can save water and water costs. The more it's used, the more it saves, officials said, and the savings on repair costs can be substantial compared with conventional units.

Aberdeen's waterless urinal is a joint test venture of the city and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The site was chosen because the city's water supply from a large field of artesian wells has steadily declined for 20 years, Mr. Gredlein said.

The city's biggest water users are Aberdeen Proving Ground and the Maryland House, a rest stop along Interstate 95. In addition, the Frito-Lay distribution center in Aberdeen will use an estimated 500,000 gallons a day when it is running at capacity.

"We have talked to the Marriott Corp. about installing waterless urinals [at the Maryland House] and would like to get them into APG," Mr. Gredlein said.

The Frito-Lay plant, he said, "is going to put a huge strain on our water supply," he said. "We've got to find more efficient conservation methods. The waterless urinal can buy us time to find other ways to conserve."

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.