Frequently Asked Questions
waterless urinals made of corn plastic from Bio-Fresh UK Ltd. Hampshire
How does the Biofresh unit
The unit has a bacteria/enzyme head that combats uric salt scale build up and is impregnated with a surfactant to clean and a fragrance to keep the washroom smelling pleasant at all times.
What is the payback time?
In most cases the payback time is 9 months or less.
Will someone visit for a free quotation?
Yes, book today for a free visit and quotation. Phone 02392 321970
What if I'm not happy with the system?
We will re-instate your urinals to its previous configuration, in the first 3 month period, if you are not happy with the performance of our product.
How can I become a distributor?
Just phone 02392 321970 for an interview and you could be up and running in no time.
Why do urinals smell?
Biofilm - the key problem is biofilm, a translucent film 0.1 mm thick derived from body fluids. It forms on the ceramic bowl and all pipe-work, but is particularly difficult to clean where it collects on the internal surface of the urinal waste outlet and trap above the water level.
The biofilm takes several weeks to form - that’s why water efficient urinals, or new urinals, often operate without odour problems for several months. The naturally occurring bacteria which thrive on this biofilm are what cause the smell. Even bleach is not successful at killing them. Reduction in water, for example using water misers, usually leads to an increase in build up.
Leaking, staining and splashing - washers in urinal traps perish very quickly, causing leakage and staining outside of the trap - leading to bad smells. Odour also comes from urine that splashes on the walls and floor. When urine is left to dry it acts as a breeding ground for ‘bad’ bacteria that cause unpleasant odours.
Why do urinals suffer from build up in traps and pipes leading to blockages?
Our clients tell us that the unpredictability and frequency of blockages causes offence to both customers and staff alike.
Uric salt and limescale build up – every litre of urine contains some 5 grams of uric salt ,which builds up into ‘sludge’. This mixes with the limescale, from the water flushing though, resulting in both bad smells and blockages. Because uric salt is insoluble in water, usually continual flushing is required to physically move this ‘slurry’ along waste pipes to the drain.
Urinal blocks - these are supposed to mask the smell of urine and bacteria. Traditional urinal blocks reduce in size while exposed to air then stop shrinking when submersed in water. Pieces of the blocks fall into the waste trap, collecting in the uric sludge until they eventually cause a blockage.
What happens if the flush frequency is reduced without other measures?
Water is an important part of the urinal maintenance. Flushing physically moves along the “sludge” from uric salt build up in order to avoid blockages and smells. It also ensures urinals look and smell fresh. Unfortunately, most companies use an inordinate amount of water, flushing up to 4-6 times an hour, which equates to an average consumption of over 150,000 litres of water per annum per urinal. This is both expensive and environmentally damaging.
Watermisers - many companies have installed water management systems to reduce water consumption, without any other changes to the way they look after urinals. Unfortunately, without water physically moving it along, there is an increase in uric sludge build up, which increases occurrence of blockages dramatically.
Why do urinals look unpleasant?
The waste outlet in normal urinals usually remains in place for the life of the urinal. After awhile, limescale and yellow urine deposits fur up the waste outlet so that it becomes unsightly.
The scale becomes a breeding ground for foul bacteria, increasing smells, which makes cleaning and maintenance tasks even more unpleasant than is necessary. In many public establishments, the effects of stubbing out cigarettes in urinals means that the waste outlets look old, burned and sometimes even fragmented.
Blocks or mats only add to the shabby appearance and the cycle of cleaning neglect is perpetuated. Also, stains on the bowl itself are unsightly. These are usually caused by limescale build-up from water, because of the high frequency in flushing.
Why do traditional remedies not work?
Reducing water consumption by itself does not work - many water management systems have been designed to reduce water consumption to urinals and hence reduce operating costs. Unfortunately many users of these systems have found the reduction in water flushing resulted in an increase in blockages and bad smells. Why? Because there is insufficient water to physically move the sludge and biofilm along the pipe-work.
Chemical dosing systems - chemical dosing systems and more recently enzyme dosing systems have been introduced to work in conjunction with the water management units. Chemicals are fed into the water as the urinal flushes. Since the chemicals/enzymes are flushed away before they have a chance of being effective, the chemical products need to be added at very regular intervals to be effective. As these chemicals are quite expensive the user is often left paying more for the water management system and chemicals than they did while frequently flushing with water.
Using enzymes by themselves does not work - enzyme products work well under the correct conditions. Specific enzymes are produced by ‘friendly’ bacteria which augment and then dominate the less pleasant naturally occurring bacteria. There has to be an adequate concentration of bacteria to be effective. Anything less than 50 million Colony Forming Units (CFUs) per gram will have little chance of working effectively. Bacteria also need time to work. There is little point in introducing bacteria if they are being constantly flushed away. This is why the Biofresh unit
system employs a water management system to reduce flushing frequency to between four and six times per 24 hour period.
Problems with water efficient urinal solutions - many companies have told us that they have tried water efficient but after a few months the smell and blockages become unbearable. The blockages are treated by clearing the pipes, the cost of which then makes up for the savings in water! The environmental impact of reducing water is offset by the chemicals used to mask or treat the smell! The main reason why water efficient systems fail is that they work on a barrier system, rather than dealing with the sources of smells and blockages in the way that the Biofresh system does.
Problems with adding chemicals – some people still resort to using bleach or more corrosive chemicals to keep pipes clear and to eliminate smells. Though this can be effective in the short term, use of corrosive chemicals can be extremely damaging to the integrity of pipe work. Furthermore, it is totally unnecessary and is damaging to the environment.
Why is the Biofresh system so effective at reducing blockages?
Our bespoke enzymes convert uric salts, making them water soluble - the domed top of the Biofresh unit
is filled with a gel block. The gel has a combination of surfactants for foaming and washing, water softeners to help reduce limescale build up and friendly bacteria and their associated enzymes. The friendly bacteria continue to thrive, producing enzymes for the life of the block (usually around three months). When the urinal is flushed the bacteria settle in the waste trap using their enzymes to breakdown the waste, which the bacteria use as food. This process converts uricsalts from being insoluble in water to being soluble.
Enzymes – these are natural chemical catalysts that are produced by bacteria to break down waste into very small units for food, which can then be assimilated by the bacteria. In many naturally occurring bacteria this process releases unpleasant smells. The bacteria used in the unit are all 'friendly' bacteria which do not result in bad smells during the process of breaking down the uric sludge and are completely harmless to humans.
Most enzymes may be placed into one of three groups:
Aerobic; enzymes that thrives in the presence of oxygen and require it for their continued growth and existence.
Anaerobic; enzymes that cannot tolerate gaseous oxygen, such as those enzymes which live in deep underwater sediments or those which cause bacterial food poisoning.
Facultative anaerobes; enzymes which prefer growing in the presence of oxygen, but can continue to grow without it. The Bio-Block and gel inside the Biofresh unit
has a combination of both Aerobic and Anaerobic enzymes.
Enzymes in the Biofresh unit
- safe, powerful, friendly bacteria are introduced into the urinal trap every time the urinal is used or flushed with water. They secrete their enzymes to feed on the uric salts, quickly developing into a biomass which dominate and replaces the naturally occurring bacteria. The naturally occurring bacteria cause unpleasant smells, but the Biofresh bacteria do not. The uric salts which harbour the bad bacteria are not removed but the chemical chains that hold them together are. This transforms the uric slurry from something that is insoluble to something that is easily flushed away with minimal water use.
Enzymes can be more effective than chemicals - because enzymes work in an entirely natural way without the use of chemicals, microbiological cleaning is the environmentally friendly but effective solution to many washroom problems. Chemicals mask odours rather than removing the ‘bad’ bacteria which cause the problems.
Why and how do you save water?
Modest flush frequency allows enzymes time to work and removes any debris – the Biofresh unit
requires only a modest amount of water. When water passes over the unit it activates the bacteria and enzymes in the block.
Our bacteria need time to multiply and their enzymes need time to convert the uric salt. As a result the water can be reduced to just 4 flushes a day. These flushes are important though and act to remove the small amount of now soluble debris and bring new bacteria and enzymes from the Bio-Block into the trap and pipes – this is a clear differentiator from water efficient systems, which frequently suffer from build up and blockages as a result.
Regulating the flush frequency - many existing water management units can be adjusted to achieve the required level of flushing. If you do not currently have water management systems, Biofresh uses a bespoke system. It consists of a solenoid valve that can be set to allow various flush frequencies. It comes preset to flush every six hours (four times per day). This is the optimum level for the bacteria and associated enzymes in the Biofresh urinal system to do their good work.
Designed especially for us with Biofresh, the valve enables urinal flushing to be optimised (1-24 flushes a day). The lithium batteries are guaranteed for two years.With the Biofresh system, the primary purpose of flushing is to rinse and remove any debris and the now soluble uric salts from the waste trap and pipe work.
With less frequent flushing your urinal uses less water, decreasing your water bill, so you save money!
What are the financial benefits of using the Biofresh system?
Savings on water, chemicals and dealing with blockages - the Biofresh product should save the average user around £300 per annum per urinal. The majority of savings are achieved through reduced water consumption. Additional savings arise because urinal blocks and chemicals need no longer be used. In some instances, the most valuable impact of implementing the Biofresh system results from the significant reduction in blockages and associated charges for remedial maintenance.
Why is the Biofresh system different from other urinal products?
The unique Biofresh unit
enables water flushing to be reduced to optimum level, allowing the enzymes to work effectively. Without the Biofresh unit
the reduced flushing would eventually lead to odour problems due to build up in the waste outlet above the water seal and blockage problems from build up in traps and pipes.
In conjunction with the water management system, the enzyme block ‘bleeds’ enzymes down the inner walls of the Biofresh unit
at a steady rate. Excessive water flushing or chemical dosing simply washes away the enzymes and prevents them from working properly.
Why should I replace or change what I have?
Setting aside the likely cost savings, Biofresh is a 'green' urinal solution that provides an odour-free, low maintenance, hygienic, pleasant environment for staff, visitors and other users of washroom alike.
It has proved far more effective in dealing with urinal problems than all other methods.
Is it easy to install?
Yes. However it is imperative that the units are fitted to the correct specification. The refill change-over every three months couldn’t be simpler and only takes a few seconds. We will work with your maintenance team to explain how the simple installation procedure should be followed, or we can arrange for installation to be carried out for you.