This mashup up of appliances — half shower, half washing machine — could be a tough one to move in the showroom at the local Sears. The idea behind the Washit is to save water by collecting the water used when you shower and then use it to wash your clothes.
The idea reminds me of something Kramer from Seinfeld did: he prepped food and washed dishes while showering because it was more "efficient." Before any trauma sets in from that memory, let's just state that no, you are not going to shower in dirty water, nor are your clothes going to spin in a germ fest.
Here's the scoop. The Washit is a closed-water plumbing system that gathers "greywater" from the bottom of the shower and passes it through a series of filters into a storage tank, where it can later be re-used for washing clothes or showering again.
To be very clear that this system doesn't want to sacrifice cleanliness for the sake of saving water, it contains three filters for the water — carbon, organic and chemical. As if that weren't enough, there is a UV cleaning phase as well. Phew!
In every other way the individual appliances operate as a normal shower or washing machine.
In fact, aside from saving water, that was the goal of the four Turkish university students who developed the concept. They didn't want to change anything about the process of taking a nice, hot, relaxing shower, so they looked for other ways to save water.
Thus, the Washit was born. And though, it may seem a little bit strange to us, the idea of using gray or already used water for certain things — like watering the garden — is an accepted practice. The creative use of grey water in this prototype was enough to win the students the iF Concept Design Award 2012: Hansgrohe Special Award.
On the heels of their win, Ahmet Burak Aktas, Adem Onalan, Salih Berk Ilhan and Burak Soylemez are working on creating working prototypes that could be one solid step toward saving the planet's water resources.