Thingamabob to Save Water!
I would not consider myself a hippie by any regards. In fact, I am pretty far from it, especially when it comes to saving water. I need to take a very hot and long shower every morning just as most people need to have a cup of coffee in order to function in the morning.
I am the type of person who likes to come up with weird ideas and I like to do things that are a bit out of the norm. If I owned my own house I would be one of those guys who ran solar panels and collected rain water from my gutters to water my lawn in the summer time. I also would really like to get geothermal power in the house and if I still lived in Michigan I would run the geothermal lines up my driveway close to the surface so the heat would keep the driveway melted so I would not have to shovel it.
Alright, let’s jump back on to the topic of water.
So I have thought about this for a while. However; I should mention that while I have thought about this, I have not done any research on it so everything I am about to say is coming directly from my noggin with no research and will likely never be fully practical.
My idea to reuse water:
Most everyone takes a bath or shower on fairly regular basis. All that used water ends up going down the drain and is wasted never to be used again. I thought of a really cool idea a while back to take that wasted water and make it usable again.
What I was thinking we could do is create a second drain line off of the main drain line in the tub (This could actually also apply to sinks and possibly even washers). The second drain would be attached to the side of the old drain and it would have a wire mesh filter on the front of it.
The wire mesh filter would be the first line of filtration against larger stuff like dirt, stones, hair, poo, etc. As you are taking a bath or shower some of the water being drained would go down as normal along with larger debris. The rest of the water would go down the side/second drain. The water would then run through a filter and end up in a tank that is heated to 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now I know what you are already thinking that just because you boil water and filter it does not make it clean (consumable). I think it makes it clean enough to reuse as bath, shower or sink water. It also makes it clean enough to be used as toilet water (which in a lot of homes is 2+ gallons of wasted water per flush). My thought would be that this second tank would run to specific systems in the house such as the toilet or bath.
Another other option would be to build a condenser tank and the water being boiled would evaporate and be blown into the condenser tank and then that water could be routed to anywhere in the house for use or consumption.
The second tank of water could actually be used for anything such as watering your lawn or washing your car. I know a lot of people will read this and think that it sounds pretty gross, but I look at it like this:
It cannot be any worse or gross than swimming in a community pool. My idea is pretty similar to how a pool works in that it recirculates the water through a filter and is pushed back out. The water that little kids are peeing in is only cleaned by the chlorine that is being put in by the owners on a regular basis? Yet people still jump in and splash around and play in.
My system has a filter and it is being cleaned by being boiled. While we could use a system that added bleach, chlorine or iodine tincture I would prefer not to use chemicals. So, all in all, I feel it is pretty safe and usable at its core.
Anyways… This is just my thought/idea to save water. I know it seems gross and might even seem dumb, but when you think about parts of California right now who are on the verge of running out of water due to dry spells and the cities themselves are giving fines to the general public if they are caught wasting water. My idea does not seem so crazy.