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Urinal and sink combination saves water
Posted on Thursday, July 18, 2013

The water-saving design of a sink and urinal or a sink and a full toilet has been growing in popularity in recent years. The design of the device makes it cheaper to both install and produce, is more environmentally friendly, and even encourages users to wash their hands.

The design

Though combination inks and toilets have been around in Japan for nearly 60 years, one new design has recently begun to be installed in several European countries. The new model was created by Latvian designer Kaspars Jursons​, who insists that the model is not a "fancy piece of art," but rather a utilitarian tool, according to NPR.

"The idea is about function and consumption. You are washing your hands in the sink on top of the urinal, and the same water that's running is also used to flush," he explained. "You don't have to use water twice, like when you use the urinal and wash your hands in separate sink."

The basic design of his device and others like it is that the toilet is used first, then the sink. Afterward, the gray water produced from washing hands is what actually flushes the toilet, thus saving water, according to Geekologie.com.

Called The Stand, the new sink-urinal sells for just under $600, and has been distributed in Germany, Poland and the designer's home country of Latvia, among other places. By his own estimation, the device has already saved significant amounts of water and and encouraged more hand washing, because the sink is directly above the urinal. His next project is to create a unisex design.

Japanese models

Similar designs to Jursons' have been used in Japan since 1956. Often, they are utilized in densely-populated areas where there is not adequate space or water for both a sink and a toilet. In the Japanese models, the sink is located on the cistern, the tank on the back of the toilet, and the water helps refill the toilet after it's been flushed.

Though the new idea has been popular in Europe, NPR suggested that Americans may be more interested in the full sink-toilet rather than the urinal-toilet.

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