Save water by taking longer showers
Seriously? Save water by just taking longer showers? It seems like the world turned upside down, but nothing could be further from the truth. The Hydraloop, an invention of ex-media mogul Arthur Valkieser, makes this possible. The water innovation is solid. Globally, Hydraloop has been causing a furor for some time. Also, the patented technology was recently awarded an international award under the auspices of the United Nations.
In recent months, the Netherlands have
been plagued by persistent drought. Arthur
Valkieser, a board member of Water Europe, calls it incomprehensible that in all the noise about this, there was hardly any attention to water recycling. "A systematic approach including the potential of systematic water reuse is definitely needed. If not, extensive damage to nature and economy in the coming years will almost certainly be unavoidable." He emphasizes that now is the time to reduce water withdrawals from nature. "Saving water is so simple that consumers and businesses can do this themselves."
To make progress, however, we will not get there not with measures such as collecting
rainwater and installing water-saving faucets. "An average Dutch person uses 134 liters of water per day. Two liters for drinking, the rest we use for toilet, shower, sink and washing machine. Instead of discharging all those liters after a single use, the current practice, we can save enormously by reusing this wastewater reused." His invention, the Hydraloop, makes reusing water possible. "The device cleans slightly contaminated water from washing and showering. Then you can safely use it again for applications that don't require drinking water quality. Think flushing the toilet or for the washing machine and the garden. On top of that, we will have to transport less water to both buildings and treatment plants."
The energy consumption of the system is incredibly low. So you don't lose the benefits of your water savings through electricity consumption. "On the contrary, the electricity consumption can be compared to that of an LED bulb of about 20 watts." Valkieser calculates that with the reuse you even save quite a bit of energy. "In winter, tap water is on average eight degrees Celcius, in spring and fall two degrees more and in summer
the temperature is fourteen degrees. We usually do laundry at a minimum of thirty degrees. So heating the tap water involves a lot of power consumption to bridge that difference. The reusable water from the shower has a temperature of up to twenty degrees, often even a little more. This means that the washing machine uses much less power, resulting in hefty energy savings."It doesn't stop there.
"The shower water because it stays in a building, releases its residual heat to the environment. This too saves on energy bills." And on top of that, the inflow of cold tap water decreases. "With home insulation, we do everything possible to keep out the cold, but you still import 35 liters of cold water per person every day. That's about four buckets full that will be heated up to room temperature. Adding all this up, utilizing residual water saves about six hundred kilowatt hours of electricity annually. The Hydraloop uses less than two hundred kilowatt hours, so your gain comes out to four hundred kilowatt hours of electricity. On an annual basis, that saves as much as two hundred euros per year."
Of course, the Hydraloop also saves about a hundred euros a year on a Dutch water bill as well. "Together with the energy savings, you earn the investment back in about ten years.
Meanwhile, all those years you save considerably on increasingly scarce tap water."
"By the way, it is expected that water prices will increase in the coming years, reducing the payback period by a few years. Abroad, this is already the case and the prices for water are sometimes as much as eight times higher than in the Netherlands. This reduces the payback period by years." Valkieser expects that, partly as a result of the costs associated with rapidly increasing droughts, the price of water will also rise substantially in the Netherlands in the coming years. "That immediately makes saving and reusing water much more appealing."
Installing the Hydraloop does require adjustments to the piping system required. "After all, you have to branch off the laundry and shower water. From the system, greywater piping goes to the washing machine and toilet, all fairly easy to accomplish. With new constructions, this is very easy to include."Ideally, Valkieser would like to see an obligation on water reuse in new construction. "Our country faces the task of building 900,000 new homes to be built, so the water reuse would be immense."
Municipalities, by the way, can already take action today. "In Leeuwarden, there's a neighborhood of forty-one homes under construction that will be completed 'Recycle Ready' this year. With a subsidy from the municipality, all future residents have purchased a Hydraloop system. From the moment they receive the key, they save water and energy. In Belgium, this will also happen in Ghent Bruges."
Elsewhere in the world, his invention is also making waves. "We introduced the product at the end of 2017 to the global market. "By now, we are delivering hundreds and hundreds of systems. They are installed in several European countries as well as in Japan, Vietnam, Australia, Dubai, America, you name it." Valkieser is proud of the recognition the
system received just before summer. His invention was awarded the WIPO Global Award. The abbreviation stands for World Intellectual Property Innovation. The agency that awards the prize is affiliated with the United Nations. The judges praised Hydraloop as an exceptional company that is using its intellectual property in an innovative and smart way to solve the water crisis and improve the quality of life worldwide. "In total, they gave five awards to patented technologies they consider the best in the world, including ours. There were four other winners, two from China and the other two from Japan and Singapore. So we are the only winner from the non-Asian world. This honor helps us tremendously to speed up the rollout of the Hydraloop."
Get rid of your shower clock
What is special about the Hydraloop is that people no longer have to respond to calls to reduce to take shorter showers. "The shorter you are in the shower, the less water there is to reuse and the more pure tap water you use for your toilet, washing machine, and garden."
This article is a literal translation of the article "Bespaar Water door Langer Douchen", written by Louise van den Broek for MilieuMagazine. All copyright lies with Louise van den Broek and MilieuMagazine.