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Water SA

On-line version ISSN 1816-7950
Print version ISSN 0378-4738


CHIPAKO, TL  and  RANDALL, DG. Urinals for water savings and nutrient recovery: a feasibility study. Water SA [online]. 2019, vol.45, n.2, pp.266-277. ISSN 1816-7950.

This research investigates the feasibility of implementing waterless urinals at a public university in Cape Town, South Africa. Two analytical approaches were adopted to assess the feasibility of the proposed systems: a social study in the form of an online survey and an economic evaluation of four separate water savings and nutrient removal systems. In terms of the online survey, 87% of respondents claimed they would use urine- diverting technology and 79% stated they would eat food that was grown using urine-recycled phosphorus as fertilizer. It was found that merely reducing the number of times a urinal could be flushed to 3 times per day could save approximately 18 ML of water annually. Additionally, the University of Cape Town requires 3 600 kg of fertilizer for its sports fields, while the urine collected in waterless systems has the potential to produce 6 700 kg of fertilizer. This work has shown that a significant amount of water can be saved by installing waterless urinals in public institutions such as a university. It also shows that there is potential to recover valuable resources from our 'waste' streams, thus closing various nutrient cycles through on-site fertilizer production.

Keywords : fertilizer; nutrient recovery; phosphorus; urine; water savings.

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