Thursday, June 23, 2011

Miracles of Science: The Waterless Urinal

I'm not a Germophobe. I am a staunch proponent of the ten-second rule, and think Purell is thinly-veiled  placebo mucous. Even with these eyebrow-raising standards, I still think public bathrooms are the vile cesspools that subscribe to the 'out of sight, out of mind' theory of cleanliness. As long as everything is whisked of down a ceramic hole in a timely fashion, everything is hunky-dory. While this may be appropriate for something like the toilet where you can flush from afar with your shoe, but at the urinal, your options are nil. The handle is too high to depress with anything but your hand, and if you try to maintain a safe distance your face gets precariously close to the bowl. Without knowing the flush velocity, you are taking some serious risks. And don't even think about 'letting it mellow'. Disgusting and only an viable in the event of a water emergency. You flush and get away as fast as possible. Time and again science has tried to solve this conundrum with infrared flushing sensors or 'reduced-water' systems, but splashing remained a very real threat. Short of a giant trough (which opens up another can of worms), something drastic needed to be done. Allow me to introduce the waterless urinal.

The future is here. A sleek, stylish engineering marvel promises to make the restroom a place of pastoral relief again. Speaking from personal experience, it is nothing less than a miracle. It uses a unique liquid displacement mechanism to remove waste without water or any flushing. It has a uniquely conical shape that guarantees an obtuse splash angle and efficient disposal. There are no urinal cakes, no detonation timers and no outhouse bouquet. It can save 40,000 gallons of water a year PER FIXTURE. If there were a Nobel Prize for plumbing, it would be a shoo-in. Every bar on the planet has an obligation to make this investment if they care about the health and comfort of their patrons. Until that blessed day, I'll keep visiting the ones at Donohue's every Sunday night.

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