Cookie tracking notice
Are we allowed to crumble with cookies and anonymous tracking?

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site (so called session cookies), while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). We use the application Matomo and the external service etracker to analyze your behavior on our website anonymously. Because we value your privacy, we are here with asking your permission to use the following technologies. You can change your settings any time via this link or the menu item in footer menu. For more information visit our Data Policy

Waterless urinal sheds in the inner city Hamburg, Germany - Case study of sustainable sanitation projects

Winker, M., Grönwall, P. (2010)

Published in: 2010

Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA)

Winker, M., Grönwall, P.

Uploaded by:
SuSanA secretariat

Partner profile:
common upload


 Location of library entry

Content - Summary

This case study is about a large-scale urban public sanitation system project in the inner city of Hamburg, Germany. Waterless urinal sheds were introduced to cover approx. 2000 male users per day for all 11 public urinal sheds.

The main objective of the project was to optimise the quality of the public toilets in Hamburg and their surrounding areas while minimising the financial burden for the City of Hamburg at the same time. The aim was to achieve this goal while also minimising water and energy needs and protecting the environment.

In certain areas it was not possible to establish a public toilet as nobody was willing to run it, because the area was a social hot spot where abuse and vandalism would be a problem, or due to high frequencies in short times (such as close to the main soccer stadium). For those locations, the BSU developed the concept of public “urinal sheds” with a high transparency of the inside activities. The first pilot urinal shed was built at Hansaplatz (a social hot spot) in 2003.

All urinals installed in Hamburg’s public toilets are waterless urinals. They have the Keramag flat rubber tube system for odour control. At these 11 urinal sheds, there are also urine storage tanks. In total about 20-30 m³ of urine is collected per month (from all the 11 urinal sheds). The tanks are equipped with a floating device measuring the urine level in the tank. The urine storage tanks are strictly speaking not necessary, as all the urinal sheds are connected to a sewer and centralised wastewater treatment plant. It was decided to install them anyway for three reasons:
1. There was a fear that the pure urine from the urinal shed may cause damage (corrosion) to the local sewer pipe.
2. It is possible that in the future agricultural reuse of urine may become economically feasible.
3. Also in the future, the urine may be treated separately for nitrogen removal or struvite production.

There are no handwashing facilities at these urinal sheds, which is a drawback from a hygiene point of view, but is due to fear of vandalism and abuse (such as letting the water flow uncontrolled) – as the urinal sheds are not manned. The above ground construction as well as the daily maintenance, cleaning, checking and replacement of broken equipment was/is carried out by the company Decaux. With the implementation of its new management concept for public toilets (which includes the public urinal sheds), the BSU could reduce its annual costs by half (compared to their costs before which were EUR 1.4 Mio in 1994).

Bibliographic information

Winker, M., Grönwall, P. (2010). Waterless urinal sheds in the inner city Hamburg, Germany - Case study of sustainable sanitation projects. Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA)

Filter tags

Case studies in SuSanA template English Europe & Central Asia Urban (entire city) Urine diversion dehydration toilets (UDDTs)


Waterless urinal sheds in the inner city Hamburg, Germany

Format: pdf file
Size: 0.35 MB

Share this page on    

Follow us on    

SuSanA Partners  currently 400 partners

Networks Circle


Latest SuSanA Blog Articles

  • 22-07-2024Andy Narracott:
    Breaking the Myths: Common Misconceptions About Safely Managed Sanitation »
  • 05-07-2024Lourdes Valenzuela:
    Brasilia June 2024: SIRWASH Dialogues: Public Policies for Economic Accessibility to Rural Water and Sanitation Services in the Context of Latin American and Caribbean Countries »
  • 11-06-2024 Ann Thomas:
    Nature Calls – why sanitation is the logical starting point for fighting climate change »
  • 07-05-2024Jeremy Kohlitz,Kaiea Ribanataake Awira,Ngaouea Neemia:
    Can Kiritimati become a model circular economy society? Water and sanitation as potential entry points »
  • 26-03-2024Alice Brandt ,Mascha Kaddori:
    Let’s get wild: Water, sanitation and hygiene at the human-wildlife interface »
  • 21-03-2024Tabeer Riaz:
    Empowering Young Women Water Professionals in South Asia: Leading the Wave of Change »
  • 12-03-2024Beauty Mkoba:
    Unlocking the potential of African Women in STEM through mentorship »

SuSanA Blog »

SuSanA newsletter

Stay informed about the activities of SuSanA and its partners. The SuSanA newsletter is sent out around four times per year. It contains information about news, events, new partners, projects, discussions and publications of the SuSanA network.

Subscribe to newsletter »




Resources and publications

Our library has more than 3,000 publications, factsheets, presentations, drawings etc. from many different organisations. It continues to grow thanks to the contributions from our partners.

Add item to library »

The three links below take you to special groups of items in the library for more convenient access:


The project database contains nearly 400 sanitation projects of many different organizations dealing with research, implementation, advocacy, capacity development etc. Advanced filtering functions and a global map are also available. Information on how and why this database was created is here.

People working for SuSanA partners can add their own projects through their partner profile page. You might need your SuSanA login upgraded for this purpose. Please contact us if you would like to add a project.

Trainings, conference and events materials

Missed important conferences or courses? Catch up by using their materials for self study. These materials have been kindly provided by SuSanA partners.

Shit flow diagrams, excreta flow diagrams (310 SFDs worldwide)

Shit flow diagrams (SFDs) help to visualize excreta management in urban settings. Access SFDs and more through the SFD Portal.

Emersan eCompendium

Humanitarian Sanitation Hub

Sanitation Workers Knowledge and Learning Hub




Discussion forum

Share knowledge, exchange experiences, discuss challenges, make announcements, ask questions and more. Hint: Your discussion forum login is the same as your SuSanA login. More about the forum's philosophy »

Integrated content

We are hosting content from some other communities of practice and information-sharing portals. This section also provides a link to SuSanA's Sanitation Wikipedia initiative.

Suggest content to add »

SuSanA partners

Not yet a SuSanA partner? Show your organisation's support to SuSanA's vision and engage in  knowledge sharing by becoming partners.

Apply to become a partner »

Individual membership

Register as an individual member of SuSanA free of charge. As a member you can interact with thousands of sanitation enthusiasts on the discussion forum.  You can also get engaged in one of our 13 working groups and our regional chapters. Our FAQs explain the benefits further.

By getting a SuSanA login you can fully participate in the SuSanA community!

Register as a member


Forgot your password?
Forgot your username?