Water recycling shower saves energy

RNW archive

This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011, the Dutch government decided to cut funding and shift RNW from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW Media’s current activities can be found at https://www.rnw.org/about-rnw-media.

Showering is one of modern life's pleasures; washing away the grime of daily life with a constant flow of hot water. But running a shower costs a lot, energy-wise. Besides central heating, it's the most fuel-hungry appliance in your house and the biggest consumer of water overall.


Nick Christy and Peter Brewin at Australian company CINTEP wanted to re-invent the shower and came up with a new design that reduces energy and water use by 70 percent. The main difference to the conventional shower is that it recycles the water that is used.

[media:image]Dirty water?
So, what about the sanitary aspect of re-using your waste water - isn't showering in recycled water a bit... dirty? Nick Christy, CEO at CINTEP, explains that about half the water leaving the average shower hasn't even touched our bodies. The recycling shower captures waste water in the shower tray - before it goes into the plughole. It's then filtered three times and heat-pasteurised before being pumped back through the showerhead for immediate reuse.

The idea has won them admiration in Australia, where the company is based - a country which has seen a four-minute restriction on showers during droughts. Nick recently scooped the 500,000 euro first prize in the Dutch Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, meaning that the recycling shower may soon become commercially available.

“It’s fantastic,” said Nick, “The prize money puts my team and me in a position to devote ourselves full-time to getting this shower on the market.”

Taken from the latest edition of Earth Beat - Clean