The public toilet room of to-day is a far more sanitary institution than that of a few years ago. This is due not to one thing only, but to several.
The methods and practices of installing such work are superior to those of times past; the manufacturer has improved the construction and quality of fixtures in a wonderful manner; and a plentiful supply of light and thorough ventilation are provided.
The floor of the public toilet room, formerly of wood, which soon became reeking with filth, is now of tile or waterproof material, and adds beauty to the room. To provide for the thorough washing out of the room, one or more floor drains should be installed in each such room. For this purpose, an excellent device is that shown in Fig. B, Plate 16. It can be flushed thoroughly with hot water when desired, and thus kept in a clean condition. An important feature of the sanitary public toilet room is the thorough ventilation of the room. In order to succeed in providing perfect ventilation, means must be provided for bringing in a supply of fresh air if foul air is to be drawn out. In Fig. B of Plate 37 is shown a method much employed in providing this ventilation. It will be seen that the foul-air duct is run at the bottom of the room, each fixture stall or compartment being connected to it by means of a small register opening into the flue.
Plate XXXVII. Plumbing For Public Toilet Rooms-Causes Of Siphonage In The Un-Vented Plumbing System
Public Toilet Rooms
This flue should be connected with a flue constantly heated, or may be provided at its outer end with an exhaust fan. As the foul air is thus exhausted, fresh air enters the room at various points near the ceiling, through registers opening into a fresh-air duct.
If sufficient fresh air does not enter through the flue by natural means, a fan may be employed to force in a sufficient supply. Fig. C shows in section the arrangement of flues, from which it will be seen that they are generally run in a space behind the partition, against which the fixtures are set. Very often the tanks for the water closets and urinals are also concealed in this space, as shown in Plate 38. In the case of large toilet rooms, these flues may be continued for any desired distance, and on different sides of the room.
It will be found desirable to allow openings in both foul- and fresh-air ducts at intervals during their course outside of the fixture-stall openings. In this way a perfect exhaust of foul air and entrance of fresh air may be maintained, and the air of the room kept as nearly pure as possible for the air of a room of this character to be kept. In rooms of this nature, a change of air once in fifteen minutes should be provided for. In proportioning the area of these ducts, about 24 sq. in. of duct area should ordinarily be allowed for each urinal, water closet, and slop sink, and about one half this amount for such fixtures as lavatories, and the effective area of ventilation through the registers should be of the respective amount for each fixture named. It is better practice to raise all partitions of fixture compartments off the floor in public toilet room work, as there is then no opportunity for the collection of dirt and filth about the bases. If located in such a place that outside light cannot enter the toilet room, it should be lighted as thoroughly as possible from a light shaft or skylight, through windows opening into a lighted room, or by artificial means. Water-closet compartments are generally about 7 ft. in height above the floor, and urinal stalls about 4 ft. and 6 or 8 in. The best practice in the construction of toilet rooms to be used by the public, such as to be found in hotels, schools, factories, etc., calls for the use of the individual water closet. The range water closet as constructed and provided for to-day, is certainly far superior to the old style construction, but the fact remains that in its use there is greater danger of infection, and it is more difficult to keep the air of the room pure when ranges are used, as excreta must remain in the bowl until the automatic flush acts, whereas in the use of individual tank water closets this is carried away immediately after the fixture has been used. If the range is to be used, however, a large foul-air flue should be provided at the end of the range, and entered into a heated flue capable of producing a strong draught on the foul-air flue.
It is quite customary to provide public comfort stations and toilet rooms with drinking fountains placed in close proximity to other fixtures. It would seem preferable and more cleanly to place this fixture outside of the toilet room, where it will not be in the midst of foul and impure odors.
The only sanitary drinking fountain is that in which no drinking cup is required.
Drinking fountains of this type are now. much used, the water issuing through bubbling cups which may be adjusted to give any-desired amount of water. The user simply places his mouth over the stream coming from the bubbling cup, his mouth coming in contact with nothing but the water. The ordinary fountain with its common drinking cup is unsanitary and a successful agent for the spreading of many diseases. These fountains are made singly in pedestal form, and in batteries of any number of bubbling cups, the latter being especially desirable for school use.
In the installation of long lines of lavatories, each lavatory should be provided with its own trap, and separately vented. The use of a common waste pipe extending the whole length of a long battery of lavatories to a trap at the end is to be considered very poor practice. It leaves a long line of foul waste pipe to send its odors into the room through each waste connection into it.
In order to economize space, it often becomes necessary to locate a double battery of lavatories at the center of the public toilet room, a matter that is usually difficult owing to the impossibility usually, of running the waste and vent pipes concealed, as is desirable in work of this kind. Fig. A shows a method of accomplishing this result, which is considered further in connection with Plate 38.