Sunday, January 5, 2014

'Shower of the Future' Recycles, Cleans Water

'Shower of the Future' Recycles, Cleans Water
Quick Bit from Maria Carter

The average American family uses almost 40 gallons of water per day just for showering.The bathroom may be the smallest room in the house, but it’s one of the biggest drains on water and energy.

For proof, look no further than the shower: It accounts for close to 17 percent of the indoor water use at home.

A typical showerhead dispenses 2.5 gallons of water per minute. Multiply that number by the eight to 10 minutes each person spends in the shower on a daily basis and it’s not surprising that the average household uses almost 40 gallons of water per day just for showering. Over the course of a year, that adds up to nearly 1.2 trillion gallons of shower water used in the United States — or enough to supply the H2O needs of New York and New Jersey for 12 months.

What can be done about all that agua going down the drain?

Sweden-based technology company Orbital Systems has just the solution. Dubbed the “Shower of the Future,” Orbital’s OrbSys Shower reduces water usage by 90 percent, saves 80 percent in energy and dispenses water that is cleaner than your average tap. Not only is the unit more eco-friendly and sustainable than your old shower, it’s also wallet-friendly. Orbital predicts that it could save the average person more than $1,000 on his or her water bill.

Installing smarter showerheads could save the average American family more than 2,300 gallons per year, according to WaterSense, a partner of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The OrbSys shower works by diverting water that would normally run into your house’s drainage pipe and recycling it into drinking-water quality through a special filtration system. A special shower tray beneath the floor of the unit collects the wastewater; it is then filtered and pumped back up a shower head that offers water pressure up to 6.3 gallons per minute. Basically, it’s a closed-loop recirculating system that reuses the same water over and over again for the duration of your showering time.

Early evaluators of the OrbSys are calling it a “real-time water filtration system packaged as a recycling shower” and say it is similar to the way that astronauts aboard the International Space Station reuse their wastewater.

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