OrbSys shower lets you drink the water you wash yourself with

It always surprises me that when science fiction writers dreamed of the future, they spent so much time thinking about robots and so little time thinking about showers that force us to use less water. Okay, the latter might not be as sexy, but it’s certainly a market that exists. The newest addition to the water-saving mission is a shower that recycles the same water that just ran off your body. Don’t worry, it purifies the water first.

OrbSys can offer a 10-minute shower using only five liters of water, whereas a traditional shower would use 150 liters. The system works so efficiently, it saves you 90 percent in water usage and 80 percent in energy expenditure. And though it might seem counter-intuitive, the water is purified to the level of drinking water throughout, so you’re actually showering in cleaner water than you would be otherwise.

The shower works on many of the same principles those aboard spaceships do. It’s a closed loop system in which hot water falls from the showerhead, is drained from the shower, instantly purified, slightly reheated and shot back out the showerhead in a Sisyphean loop. Though you should probably switch the water out for each shower, there's no reason why you'd have to. There isn't much information on how it purifies the water so quickly, and we couldn't reach anyone at Orbital Systems by press time.

So the obvious question is why hasn’t anyone done this before. The fact is that they have, but it was created specifically for space missions. Much like when you’re looking everywhere for your glasses, just to realize they’re on your head, someone finally decided to take that tech and apply it to us Earthbound dwellers.

In space, though, that water is used for everything. And the implications of such a machine are just that: we could potentially use the same water for most everything. The shower brings dirtied water back to drinking quality in seconds. There’s no reason why you couldn’t run the thing for a few more minutes, gather that water and use it for cooking or drinking.

It might sound disgusting now, but I’m willing to bet it’d only take a water bill or two to change your mind.

Orbital Systems, via CNN

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