Did you know that your toilet consumes 30 percent of all water used in your home? If your toilet was manufactured before 1992, it sends 3.5 gallons of water down the drain every time you flush. That seems like an awful lot of water to waste when you consider that 80 countries have water shortages that threaten health and economies while 40 percent of the world — more than 2 billion people — have no access to clean water or sanitation.
Clearly something has to be done to reduce home water consumption, but we can’t eliminate the toilet altogether. If you’re not ready for the additional, um, challenges of a composting toilet, which uses no water at all, you might want to consider a wastewater recycling system like the Eco Bath, instead.
You might be surprised to learn that all water that flows down your drain is not created equal. The water used to wash your hands, laundry, or dinner dishes is called “grey water” and can be reused safely in certain circumstances. Anything that’s in the toilet is considered “black water” and must go directly into a septic tank or wastewater treatment center. To Jang Wooseok, an industiral designer from South Korea, this classification seemed to open up an obvious conservation opportunity: why not use the grey water to flush the toilet?
As this review explains, the Eco Bath eliminates the need for complicated systems that gather and redistribute grey water throughout the home. Instead, the design employs two levers, one for each compartment. An external LED lights provides information about the available water levels. If grey water abounds and there is enough to flush with the recycled water, the light is green. If not, the light is red and a fresh flushing option is available. Although the Eco Bath certainly isn’t the first grey water recycling system we’ve seen, it’s certainly the most stylish. Maybe the improved aesthetic will serve as an added incentive for people to give it a try!