Sanitary Standards For Urinals



    Sanitary Standards for Urinals

    By J.D. Richards

    A urinal is a bathroom fixture typically used by males.

    A urinal is a type of toilet fixture typically found in public or commercial restrooms. It is mounted to the wall and designed for urinating only. Urinals often employ soap cakes for perfume and plastic mesh guards to keep large objects from entering the drain. Standards of hygiene and environment regulate the manufacture and maintenance of urinals.


    ASME Standards

    All urinals in the United States, whether ceramic or steel, must conform to the standards of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. These standards cover overflow contingencies, thickness and dimensions of the fixture, size and specifications of waste-fitting openings. The society also requires a series of tests that prove the efficacy and sanitary status of the fixture.



    Sanitary standards must be considered in conjunction with environmental standards, which regulate the amount of water that can be released with each flush. As of the Environmental Policy Act of 1992, the national standard for urinals in the United States prohibits any flush volume exceeding 1 gallon. To save water and to boost their environmental image, facilities sometimes opt for urinals that use even less water with each flush.


    Waterless Urinals

    Waterless urinals use no water at all but rather employ a cartridge, periodically replaced, that prevents water from collecting in the drain of the urinal. Usually, these cartridges contain a lighter-than-water liquid that acts as a seal between the surrounding air and the urine going down the drain.

    These urinals are considered more hygienic than flushing urinals. In 2000, a study by the University of California at Los Angeles concluded that the bacteria count in a waterless urinals was about one half that of standard urinals. This is because the water used by flush urinals fosters a moist environment conducive to the growth of bacteria.