Nov 20, 2013

    Soon, easier to use and cleaner loos

    DIRTY toilets may soon be a thing of the past, with new moves to help cleaners keep loos here spanking clean.

    Toilets in new buildings must have cubicle partitions hanging from the wall or ceiling, with gaps at the bottom, to prevent dirt and grime accumulating along the edges of these partitions.

    Scupper drains will also have to be installed along the wall beneath urinals to get rid of odour and make it easy to clean the floor.

    These requirements will be made mandatory for new developments from June next year.

    The elderly and the young will also get a helping hand.

    For instance, grab bars have to be installed at at least one urinal to assist elderly men, and diaper-changing stations for infants and toddlers will have to be built in toilets in certain areas.

    The latter applies to shopping malls, hawker centres, MRT stations, bus interchanges and buildings or facilities where families with young children are expected to frequent.

    Speaking at the inaugural Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Conference held yesterday in conjunction with World Toilet Day, Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Grace Fu said: "A public washroom should be well-designed to ensure that it is pleasant while being easy to clean.

    "User experience is very important as it affects the attitude that users take in helping to maintain cleanliness."

    She also noted the importance of public hygiene, alluding to a few isolated cases of disease spreading through toilet habits.

    "If you don't wash your hands after you use it, and you leave marks on the doorknobs, these can potentially spread...infectious diseases," said Ms Fu.

    The National Environment Agency (NEA) has also produced a pictorial guide on cleaning procedures and use of equipment, which is available on the NEA website.

    It will also develop benchmark indicators for the time taken to complete various cleaning tasks within a washroom.

    This is done in a bid to assist cleaning companies and building owners to plan cleaning contracts better, said Ms Fu.