Towards a better tinyhouse

Inventing to freedom?

Should I build a water recycler?

with 3 comments

I have been thinking lately about the idea of building a water recycler in my bathroom. It would probably at first just be hooked up to the shower to keep the plumbing easy.

It would (hopefully) recycle the water repeatedly, taking the water from each shower and cleaning it (well) for the next shower.

After I got it working to some degree the idea would be to keep using the same water for as long as possible, before it got contaminated beyond accepted water quality standards with some contaminant or another. And then fix or modify it in some way so that it can remove whatever the offending contaminant(s) were, using only readily available and low cost parts.

The goal would be to come up with a design for a water recycler that you could build yourself, and would produce truly and reliably clean water. Of course I wouldn’t reach this goal with one go like this, but it’s a start towards that goal.

Down the line, this sort of thing could help to raise some awareness about water issues and the possibility of water recycling (and if you think this all sounds gross you don’t want to know which cities practice what critics dub “toilet to tap” water recycling, right now, or that your own city may well be using “indirect” recycling, but that the indirect part, while it might make some people feel better, doesn’t really change the composition of the water much.)

It would probably be a relatively basic unit without a PLC or microcontroller to keep the price down. I am thinking an MBR using a PE ultrafiltration hollow fiber module from Mitsubishi. I have to get them to send me a module or two though. I think if I ask them for a sample for bench testing I can pay for it by credit card, as sending bench testing samples is fairly common in the water treatment industry.

Then there would be an activated carbon stage, ion exchange resin and then a QAEC to chlorinate the water. Deionizing all the water might not be the best way to do it, because some of the minerals may be beneficial the next time around, so maybe only a fraction of the water would pass through the ion exchange bed each cycle.

One problem is that with student-level finances right now I can’t afford to pay for it all myself. It could be $400 after everything, plus any replacement or new parts later on, and the testing will be much more, I don’t know how much. Maybe would be suitable…. hm.


Written by gregor

March 17, 2011 at 17:50

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. Yeah…”toilet to tap, coming your way soon”…that’s about it too…so much water goes down the toilet, it’s nuts…

    i’ve been working outside allot lately, and my reduced cyber time is proportioning more and more toward Global Human Overpopulation issues…as to remain somewhat consistent on that front…just wanted to stop in and say i wonder how you are all doing often…miss the cons allot, but you know how it is sometimes…keep up the good work as best you can, and i will too, hope to have some great conversations this coming winter….



    March 17, 2011 at 19:11

  2. Hey I have thought about this very same idea. Mine is super simple and uses packed pvc pipes as filters as well as gravity for filtration:

    Tub / hair filter
    Macro filter (various size gravel: Big->Small)
    | > In self-contained replaceable diy | / cartridge.
    Micro filter (Micro Mesh: Sand ect.)
    Carbon filter
    UV filter
    storage reservoir
    (Pump -> return) Optional


    March 18, 2011 at 20:02

  3. That doesn’t sound like it would work very well, but does it? Have you tried it? Let us know if you do.


    March 20, 2011 at 12:18

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