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Most managers know that if a restroom has a persistent malodour, visitors will perceive it as dirty and unsanitary. So, finding and eliminating the cause of the mal-odour is essential in maintaining customer satisfaction and comfort. Such mal-odours are usually the result of the partial degradation of urine and other body fluids by bacteria in the environment. These bacteria see urine as food source – as the bacteria grow, so does the mal-odour.

Urine also results in the build-up of ‘uric salts’ which if left untreated eventually forms ‘uric scale’.Uric scale is insoluble in water and so particularly difficult to remove. It then collects on the internal surfaces of toilets and urinals, and particularly on waste outlets and traps. When uric scale is combined with limescale (arising from calcium and magnesium carbonates present in most water supplies) you have the potential for both bad smells and blockages. The usual solution is then frequent flushing to wash these deposits away.

Although water is an important part of urinal maintenance, frequent flushing is expensive and unsustainable. If a urinal is flushed up to or over 4- 6 times an hour, this equates to an average consumption of over 150,000 litres of water per annum per urinal.How is it possible to control water consumption and costs without compromising hygiene standards?

Many companies have installed water management systems to reduce water usage. However without sufficient water flowing through the pipes the build-up of uric scale, and sludges, becomes inevitable.

A more recent development is the introduction of waterless systems. Initially these may operate without malodour problems for weeks, or even months, but sooner or later this will appear, uric scale build-up will occur and reduced flow or blockages soon follow.

Once these problems have been detected, the typical response is to resort to using powerful chemicals such as bleach, disinfectants or other corrosive chemicals. Bleach and disinfectants will give temporary relief to mal-odour, but will not remove uric and limescale deposits. In fact, use of alkaline cleaners can make matters worse. Use of strong acids is hazardous and may affect sanitaryware


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