Let’s cut to the chase and start off with the big question: would you ever install a urinal in your home?
Although I can’t say I’ve had the pleasure of visiting a private residence that sports a urinal (I’ve seen a few bidets here and there but, then again, they can add a dose of “continental sophistication” whereas urinals can't) but I don’t think the idea isn’t all too shabby, especially in dude-heavy households. Add water conservation to the mix and I think it’s golden. Well, yellow.
Enter the Baja from the Waterless Company. Essentially, the Baja is a flush-free, touch-free $250 vitreous china urinal designed specifically for the residential market. A flush-free urinal you ask? The Baja features the patented EcoTrap system (see diagram below) where BlueSeal, a biodegradable “trap liquid,” helps urine down the drain without releasing any unpleasant odors. The technology is effective and the Waterless Company has had success with it in non-residential markets although I'd be hesitant to relieve myself into anything that involves the word "trap." But that's just me.
The potential for water savings here are great. According to the Klaus Reichardt, president of the Waterless Company, in a household where there are two males making three pees a day, 340 days a year, 2,400 toilet flushes can be avoided by using a Baja. The result? Annual water savings of 3,200 gallons (based on 1.6 gpf toilets). Of course, this figure has the potential to be much higher in households where more inhabitants micturate standing up or if the man of the house regularly hosts beer-fueled poker nights. Added bonus: a waterless urinal is more sanitary than a conventional one.
The Baja seems to have everything going for it: it’s clean, efficient, affordable (it pays for itself within one to three years) and has the potential to provide tremendous water savings in homes where yellow doesn't always mellow. Plus, how fun would it be to have a urinal at home (the Baja even comes in custom colors!)? Would you ever install one? Or would you rather just go outside and find yourself a tree — or straw bale — to save water when making water?