Building manager East Asia Property Group estimates that it has saved about five million litres of water in one year by installing water-free urinals in a luxury office building in Sydney – that is enough water to fill five Olympic swimming pools.

The 117 urinals were installed a year ago in the new 44-storey Aurora Place building at 88 Phillip Street, a property owned by Colonial First State Property.

Property operations manager Tony Drover says the urinals will help the building to achieve a green rating from the Green Building Council of Australia.

Drover says, “By saving five million litres each year, we think we are setting a good example for building owners and managers in Sydney, a city which for years has experienced some water shortages.”

He says the discriminating occupants of the prestigious building, who include ABN AMRO, Minter Ellison, Challenger Financial Services, State Street and The Executive Centre, are quite satisfied with the innovative urinals.

He says the water-free urinals are costing about the same to operate as traditional flushing urinals. However, there are savings in water and wastewater charges.

The Uridan brand urinals have been supplied by Watersave Australia .

They are cheaper to buy and install in new buildings than flushing urinals because they do not need cisterns, flushing valves or water pipes.

Yet they are hygienic as the urine drains through a stainless steel cover and into an oil-covered water lock, which acts like an “S” bend, into the waste pipe. A floating layer of biodegradable vegetable oil in the water lock covers the urine and eliminates odours.

Uridan urinals are easier to clean and maintain than ordinary urinals, says the distributor, as they do not have a flushing rim and their lack of water prevents the build-up of ammonia and bacteria.

Watersave Australia Pty Ltd distributes the urinals throughout Australia and New Zealand for manufacturers in Denmark.