Opening a faucet for a minute to wash our hands wastes about seven liters of water down the drain. Given this circumstance, researchers from the Autonomous University of Puebla (BUAP), in center Mexico, developed a system called Smart Recollection that reuses greywater and saves up to 50 percent of the liquid.
The idea came from the electronics student at BUAP, Angel David Barranco Vergara and consists on reusing the liquid from the sink and use it in the toilet; however, it did not represent enough savings. Therefore, Sergio Vergara Limón who also participates in the project and is a professor at the Faculty of Electronics (FCE) found a way to increase recycling and analyzed the places where more water is wasted and where it was feasible to implement the development.
In this design the water from the sink, rain and washing machine, is used, of the latter only from the liquid rinse cycle because in the first wash has high amounts of soap scum concentrate, requiring a greater filtration process.
"The rinse cycle usually uses enough water that is not contaminated and can be used using a very simple process and economical filtration. The idea is to capture this water, plus that from the shower and sink, store it in a cistern or water tank, and use it on the toilet and to water plants "details Vergara Limón.
The system works automatically, with a double pipe installation placed on sites such as the bathroom and garden. When the processed water runs out the system automatically activates the normal potable pipes.
The technology patent is pending, the request was made since 2014 with the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI); however, currently there are houses that have implemented the technology and achieved savings of 50 percent water which is reflected in the household economy.
"Adopting the system is very simple and inexpensive, users do not have to pay two full facilities. A pipe is for drinking water and for gray water we only complement the installation by using certain tubes that capture the semi contaminated liquid for a light filtration and chlorination. "
With and intelligent installation, the system has a number of electrical sensors installed in the water tank, which account for the amount of stored water and control its passage, allowing water to always be in supply.
Basic carbon filters and porous ceramic capsules are used to remove solids and soap, as well as a chlorine tablet which eradicates bacteria and odors.
However, reused water is not recommended for hand washing because it still contains small contaminants and excess chlorine can irritate the skin and cause minor burns.
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