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One size fits all urinals
February 1st 2008

A new water-saving urinal product is set to go global. Freshly launched by distributor Hygienex, the Ureco and associated products cut water costs by 95 per cent, fit any type of urinal and remove the need for air fresheners.Brendan Coyne reports

Developed by UK firm Ecosave – which helped design and manufacture the original urinal sleeve now hugely popular in urinals across the UK, Ireland and Australia – the Ureco is described as a mark II version. A key difference, says MD of distributor Hygienex, Simon Rice, is that it fits all types of urinals – including those in mainland Europe and the US. He says the potential is therefore massive. By way of example, the company is currently in discussions with Swisher to introduce it to some 60,000 American customers.
Ureco water saving device

"One of the key differences to products currently on the market is the odour lock system. In competitor's products, the odour lock occurs where the sleeve is submerged below the water line – necessitating a stem of plastic to get it there, which isn't compatible with many European urinals. The Ureco works above the water line and is therefore much shorter, so it fits any type of urinal regardless of design - which opens up new markets: a lot of the companies we are speaking with in the UK have European arms, so the potential is absolutely massive."

He says the Ureco's active ingredient - the enzyme which breaks down the uric salts - is also 1,300 times stronger than its nearest competitor.

Although not officially launched at the time of writing, Hygienex, through Rice's washroom services company, Blitz Hygiene Services, had already secured a major contract with Nottingham City Council to install thousands of units across all of its 360 sites – from local housing offices to City Hall. And Rice says further contracts will be in place by the time this article is published: Hygienex plans to replace the thousands of urinal sleeves it supplies and maintains across the East Midlands with the Ureco, as well as supply the product to mainland Europe and the US.

So how much water - and therefore money - can the device actually save? According to Rice, a simple example is one cistern feeding two urinal bowls.The volume of water per urinal flush is normally 4.5 litres and on a urinal where no water saving device is fitted, the flush frequency is 96 times daily."With a Ureco and a water management device you can slice that right down to twice a day, although we recommend four times a day," says Rice."That reduces water consumption from 315,000 litres per annum down to 13,000l per annum. So the cost of the water (based on Midlands water costs) on that site without any devices fitted would cost them £491 per year.

With the Ureco and a water saving device, water costs would drop to £20.50.

"Taking into account the negating of potential blockages, and the need for air fresheners, even with the costs of fitting the Ureco and changing it four times per year, plus the outlets and the water management systems, you're looking at an annual saving of 73 per cent. So the customer is saving a fortune and the urinal, with the Ureco's chrome cap, looks better." While some might argue that disposing of the plastic caps every four months might seem counterproductive in terms of environmental savings, Rice says the issue is already in hand:

"The device is made from a special polymer that biodegrades within 12 months, which is another key selling point." Hygienex now seeks more large distributors for the product, to further its footprint both nationally and globally.

He says the company has already been approached by urinal manufacturers looking to include a Ureco and fixing kit as the urinals are shipped.



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