The increasing pressure on our clean water supply is leading designers to come up with systems that can repurpose and reuse water for more than one function, and this shower and washing machine combo concept is a great example of that type of thinking.
Created by four industrial design students, Ahmet Burak Aktas, Adem Onalan, Salih Berk Ilhan and Burak Soylemez, the Washit appliance attempts to optimize water use in one obvious area in our daily lives: the shower. The design integrates a graywater capture and filtration system into a shower stall, letting users wash their clothes with the shower water that would normally go down the drain.
The Washit design has a triple filtration system (organic, chemical, and carbon filters), a series of pumps, a water heater, a storage tank, and a washing machine, all built into the side of a shower stall. The user can strip off their clothes and load the washer while in the stall, and the washing machine portion of the device takes care of the laundry while the user takes care of their hygiene.
While only a design concept at the moment, the idea behind the Washit is valid, and one which could really make a difference at the household level. The designers estimate that it takes approximately 150 liters of water per fifteen minute shower, and approximately 38 liters of water for a load of laundry, so assuming there's no loss, that's about four loads of laundry that can be done with just the water from one shower.
The Washit reminds me of the thought behind the shower in Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion Bathroom, which was said to be able to use just a cup of water (using a "Fog Gun" with hot water vapor) to clean one person. Of course, as Fast Co.Exist points out, the name "Washit" lends itself too easily to some not-so-savory connotations, and might need some work.
Here's hoping we see more of these kinds of water-saving concepts make their way from the drawing board to the sales floor.
What do you think? Would you use a washing machine that uses your shower graywater to wash your laundry?