VIDEO

NEA introduces new guidelines for public toilets

The female toilet in Ngee Ann City. Public toilets will be cleaner and more convenient following a slew of new guidelines announced by the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Tuesday, in line with World Toilet Day. -- ST FILE PHOTO: CAROLI
The female toilet in Ngee Ann City. Public toilets will be cleaner and more convenient following a slew of new guidelines announced by the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Tuesday, in line with World Toilet Day. -- ST FILE PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

Public toilets will be cleaner and more convenient following a slew of new guidelines announced by the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Tuesday, in line with World Toilet Day.

In July, the United Nations adopted Singapore's resolution to declare the date World Toilet Day.

Speaking at the country's first Wash (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) Conference, Second Minister for Environment and Water Resources Grace Fu announced that the NEA had revised its Code of Practice on Environmental Health to improve the design and cleanliness of public washrooms in the future.

The ratio of female to male toilet facilities will be increased from 1:1 to 5:3 in public areas with heavy usage, such as shopping malls, cinemas, convention halls and MRT stations. For every three male cubicles or urinals, there will be five cubicles for females. There will also be the installation of family-friendly features, such as grab bars for the elderly, diaper-changing facilities and wash basins for children, will be another major improvement in toilets across the island.

The revised code also establishes guidelines for better hygiene, including placing amenities like soap and towel dispensers within convenient reach, and providing wash basins outside washrooms at retail food outlets. Cubicle partitions should also be hung from the wall or ceiling when possible so toilet floors can be more easily cleaned.

These improvements will apply to all new public washrooms from June next year. Before this, the code was last reviewed in 2005.

Washroom cleaners can also get their hands on a new pictorial guide that outlines cleaning procedures, safety measures, and equipment use. The guides, developed by NEA and its industry partners, will be distributed to all cleaners through cleaning companies and the Environmental Management Association of Singapore. A copy was also made available on the NEA site starting Tuesday.