Recycling water is a murky issue. Some say grey water—the wastewater from domestic tasks like washing dishes, doing laundry and bathing—is too good to go down the drain. Grey-haters say it smells, and cite the need for long-term health testing. And since grey water codes vary by municipality, installing such a system could be illegal in your town. Nevertheless, 13.9% of households in California, and 7% in the U.S., save some part of their sullage—legally or not—according to a grey water study conducted by Soap and Detergent Association. That's why designers are increasingly ending up with their minds in the gutter. Here are a few systems that will help flush your grey water worries away.
South Korean designer Jang WooSeok’s sink flows elegantly into the toilet. Grey water in the toilet bowl is mixed 50/50 with new water from a separate source, so the system stays fresh. [via The Design Blog]
Shower water is more plentiful (and greyer) than sink water. Alison Norcott, an Australian student, designed a system that stores shower drainage in the wall before it flows into the flush. To avoid bacterial growth, the tank is discharged every day. The system is competing for the 2009 James Dyson Award. [via Freshome]
The Sloan AQUS recycling bin hides under the sink and fits with preexisting plumbing to keep fixtures looking traditional. The system filters sink drainage, then stores it in a reservoir and uses that to flush the toilet. A two-person household can save 5,000 gallons of water a year using AQUS. [via Inhabitat]
The simplest sink-to-toilet trick might be this adjustable sink toilet top. SinkPositive is connected to the toilet’s refill cycle: It diverts water from the intake pipe to a faucet, which then drains into the toilet bowl. A flushing fountain may not be pretty, but it works for a hand rinse. [via TreeHugger]
If washing dishes in the bathtub ever catches on, doing laundry in the loo might take off too. This wash machine and toilet concept by Turkish designer Sevin Coskun saves space while it flushes the grey water from dirty clothes. [via Boing Boing]