Epic Greenfail: “Rivers of Urine. . .”

Another great story from the Daily Mail:

Students step over ‘rivers of urine’ after green bathrooms plan for waterless urinals turns a high school yellow… and it will cost $500,000 to fix

Students at a high school in Boca Raton, Florida, must step over rivers of urine and endure the stench of rancid waste after a plan to bring ‘green’ waterless urinals into bathrooms backfired.

School officials at Spanish River High School thought they had found an environmentally-friendly, cost-saving solution for their bathrooms when they installed Falcon Waterfree urinals in their boys bathrooms.

But with no water moving through the school’s copper pipes to flush the urine into the sewer system, the waste produced noxious gases that ate through the metal, leaving leaky pipes that allowed urine to drip into walls and flow onto floors.

‘It was pretty disgusting,’ school board chairman Frank Barbieri told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

‘The girls had to step over a river of urine. I could smell it as soon as I walked into the hallway.’

Now, the school district, which was hoping to save $100 a year in water costs for each waterless urinal, must pay $500,000 to repair the damage and replace the appliances with the traditional flush variety in four high schools.

Neither the school, nor Falcon Waterfree Technologies, the Los Angeles-based maker of the urinals, thought to check the pipes before installing the new urinals.

Instead of water, the company’s urinals use disposables cartridges that trap urine odors. They use no water and the company claims the only maintained needed is regular cleaning and changing the cartridges four times a year.

The company promises ‘an odor-free restroom, clean pipes and zero water waste’ on its website.

But officials admitted corrosive sewer gases ate away at the pipes causing urine to flow into the walls and trickle into the school, instead of into the sewer.

As for the company’s odor-free claims: ‘We’re really concerned because we don’t think it’s a sanitary place for our children to be,’ Mara Shapiro, president of the school’s PTA told the Sun-Sentinel.

‘The hallways reek.’

The school district is looking to Falcon to pay for the mess as they order 200 waterless urinals be replaced with water-efficient urinals.

Somehow I expect there’ll be some litigation involved.

(Hat tip: Ben Zycher)

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