Water recycling shower design?

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sparr
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Water recycling shower design?

Postby sparr » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:32 am

A friend and I have gotten the idea to build a shower that lets you use fresh water for a short time, then gives you your own recycled water for a while, then a fresh water rinse at the end. This will allow people to take long hot showers without wasting a lot of water. I'm imagining we will want two separate pumps and heaters and such so that the fresh water lines never have dirty water in them. Has anyone attempted something like this and would you be willing to share your plans or stories?
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Re: Water recycling shower design?

Postby Dr. Pyro » Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:51 am

Interesting idea Sparr, but not wanting to sound like Debbie Downer, keeping in mind we're in the desert wouldn't the old K.I.S.S. method be, well, easier?

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Re: Water recycling shower design?

Postby sparr » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:38 pm

Easy is easy. Sometimes complicated makes for a fun challenge.

Also, I'm going to be using this off-playa as well.
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Re: Water recycling shower design?

Postby Sham » Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:35 am

I would think that the middle part of the shower with recirculated water may be a health issue. We affectionately call that "ass water".
Unless that water can be treated in some way, I don't think it's healthy to be soaking yourself down with it.

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Re: Water recycling shower design?

Postby Captain Goddammit » Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:54 pm

Just bring more goddamm water.
I bring some fairly complicated systems that make life in BRC better, I get it about that.
Complication for the sake of complication, all for a shittier result... I don't get that.
I'd rather tackle figuring out how to transport more water than setting up a separate dedicated pump and water heater for dousing myself in greywater in the name of... uh... living better??
Hell, you'll waste more fresh water just re-washing the greywater stench off yourself.
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Re: Water recycling shower design?

Postby GreyCoyote » Sat Feb 04, 2017 5:43 pm

Dude, you have a **bus**. Throw some 55 gal barrels of water in there and be done with it. Easy-peasy.

Unless you plan on running bleach through that thing after every user, you're just begging to get yourself (or someone else) sick, and I mean seriously. What could possibly happen, right? Hot days, loads of organics from human and animal sources, poor hygiene, attenuated immune systems due to stress, lots of folks coming in from all over the globe carrying god-knows-what, and now you are going to spray this witches brew on your body? Pass.

If you ever wanted to make a really successful participatory petri dish, you just did exactly that. Take a teaching microscope and call the critters "art". It wont take long.

If you are STILL set on doing this, go back a few years and look at what eplayan "Mulch" did. The guy was a medical doctor, had a good budget, and understood the science. He rocked it. Look at what he did and see if that would work for you.
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Re: Water recycling shower design?

Postby FlyingMonkey » Sun Feb 05, 2017 2:25 am

GreyCoyote wrote:Dude, you have a **bus**. Throw some 55 gal barrels of water in there and be done with it. Easy-peasy.



Sometimes clever is simple.

I have to agree with the health aspect of bathing in "used" water.

Now filling a Zorb 1/3 full with soapy water would be one hell of a wash/spin cycle.
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Re: Water recycling shower design?

Postby GreyCoyote » Sun Feb 05, 2017 6:00 pm

FlyingMonkey wrote:
Now filling a Zorb 1/3 full with soapy water would be one hell of a wash/spin cycle.


Diet Coke? Meet Mr Monitor. You already met Mr Nose, albeit in passing... :)))
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Re: Water recycling shower design?

Postby FlyingMonkey » Mon Feb 06, 2017 2:56 am

GreyCoyote wrote:
FlyingMonkey wrote:
Now filling a Zorb 1/3 full with soapy water would be one hell of a wash/spin cycle.


Diet Coke? Meet Mr Monitor. You already met Mr Nose, albeit in passing... :)))


You totally lost me there.

But I did find this

https://eplaya.burningman.org/viewtopic.php?f=277&t=65887&p=973108&hilit=mulch#p965086

Totally awesome.
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Re: Water recycling shower design?

Postby lucky420 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:57 am

This reminds me of when we were kids and we shared a bath but we weren't dirty hippies yet so it was cool
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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Re: Water recycling shower design?

Postby BBadger » Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:49 pm

I think Sparr's planning on recycling only the water from the current session, not anyone else's. Ideally, it wouldn't result in anything worse than what was already on the person showering. Practically, however, the recycling tank and system would need to be purged and sanitized after each session. This wouldn't be just tossing some bleach in the bin like some grey water barrel, but a thorough rinsing and decontamination using clean water and bleach, etc. Even after all that, the system could never be considered clean enough for potable water.
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Re: Water recycling shower design?

Postby Captain Goddammit » Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:11 pm

Yep! And that process would waste the extra clean water you could have been sanitizing yourself with!!
Just bring more goddamm water.

Lemme break it down into terms anyone can understand. Lets say you and I were equally witty, personable and attractive to Ratty. We both offer her to shower with us. One of us has an ample fresh clean water supply, the other is going to regurgutate used shower water on her.
All else being equal, which has a better chance of soaping her up and washing her tits?
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Re: Water recycling shower design?

Postby ygmir » Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:48 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:Yep! And that process would waste the extra clean water you could have been sanitizing yourself with!!
Just bring more goddamm water.

Lemme break it down into terms anyone can understand. Lets say you and I were equally witty, personable and attractive to Ratty. We both offer her to shower with us. One of us has an ample fresh clean water supply, the other is going to regurgutate used shower water on her.
All else being equal, which has a better chance of soaping her up and washing her tits?


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Re: Water recycling shower design?

Postby GreyCoyote » Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:02 am

Captain Goddammit wrote:Lemme break it down into terms anyone can understand. Lets say you and I were equally witty, personable and attractive to Ratty. We both offer her to shower with us. One of us has an ample fresh clean water supply, the other is going to regurgutate used shower water on her.
All else being equal, which has a better chance of soaping her up and washing her tits?


Two questions before I answer that:

1). How drunk are we?
2). Are any of our camp members watching?
3). Is there a no-camera guarantee?
4). I have fine wine and chocolate

Okay that was four questions. Or three... Dunno. Screw it. Lets ask Ratty! :)
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Re: Water recycling shower design?

Postby gaminwench » Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:14 am

Thanks, Sparr, I love this thread. 8)
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Re: Water recycling shower design?

Postby BBadger » Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:24 pm

Yeah, it's almost as romantic as inviting someone to wash off behind those "mobile shower trucks" that drive down the roads or some shit like that, only you also have to clean the holding tank after you're done too.
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Re: Water recycling shower design?

Postby Jackass » Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:48 am

You had me at soapy tits...
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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Re: Water recycling shower design?

Postby FlyingMonkey » Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:40 am

Jackass wrote:You had me at soapy tits...


+100 :lol:
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Re: Water recycling shower design?

Postby sparr » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:26 pm

Sham wrote:I would think that the middle part of the shower with recirculated water may be a health issue. We affectionately call that "ass water".
Unless that water can be treated in some way, I don't think it's healthy to be soaking yourself down with it.
I'm pretty sure I've heard that exact argument used against baths in favor of showers.
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Re: Water recycling shower design?

Postby sparr » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:31 pm

BBadger wrote:Practically, however, the recycling tank and system would need to be purged and sanitized after each session. This wouldn't be just tossing some bleach in the bin like some grey water barrel, but a thorough rinsing and decontamination using clean water and bleach, etc.

I wasn't imagining having a tank as part of that system. Cleaning the rest of it out would probably be a job for a pipe cleaner (so aptly named!) with some soap on it. Those pipes don't need to be any cleaner than a bathtub between baths, do they?

BBadger wrote:Even after all that, the system could never be considered clean enough for potable water.

Definitely not without disassembling the whole thing and sanitizing all the parts, but I can't imagine why you would use the system for potable water when it's built as the grey water half of a shower.
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Re: Water recycling shower design?

Postby BBadger » Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:11 pm

sparr wrote:
BBadger wrote:Practically, however, the recycling tank and system would need to be purged and sanitized after each session. This wouldn't be just tossing some bleach in the bin like some grey water barrel, but a thorough rinsing and decontamination using clean water and bleach, etc.

I wasn't imagining having a tank as part of that system. Cleaning the rest of it out would probably be a job for a pipe cleaner (so aptly named!) with some soap on it. Those pipes don't need to be any cleaner than a bathtub between baths, do they?


I think you'll need a tank/reservoir of some sort or you won't have enough liquid to maintain pressure, or the person is going to be standing in a pool of their own shower water that serves as a tank. Probably a good idea to allow solids to settle out too.

You'll want to have the system cleaned out and sanitized with each wash to remove all the filth, dust, and other crap traveling or sticking in it. There is going to be dust, hair, dirt, grime, dead skin, etc. all throughout those pipes and in the tank. Even with my lower overall cleanliness standards on-playa, I wouldn't want to have other peoples' shower filth contaminating the shower system that I'm using to become clean.

Another problem with this idea is expecting your users to actually go through the effort of keeping this system in good condition. For yourself it's probably no problem; however, for most people the last thing anyone wants to do is clean the system after using it so the next person can use it. It's already a chore for people to clean their own dishes after eating, but making people have to wash a shower system after cleaning up is a lot to ask. People may also forget or just outright not bother because they're irresponsible. You may even get some assholes using it without permission.

Personally, for the amount of effort involved with using and maintaining a system, I would probably not even use the system at all and just bring more water if it were set up. Longer showers aren't a luxury I enjoy to the extent that I'd want to spend time cleaning up the shower system each time I use it. To each his own, but I'd rather just throw money (water) at the problem and be done with it, especially as I always end up dumping substantial amounts of water anyway.

I would consider ensuring that the system can be used without needing to be cleaned, should a person just want to use new fresh water rather than recycle their own water.

Definitely not without disassembling the whole thing and sanitizing all the parts, but I can't imagine why you would use the system for potable water when it's built as the grey water half of a shower.


"Potable" was probably a bit too high of a standard. Still, the expectation with a shower system is that you're washing with clean water, not grey water, or at least grey water from a different session. It's like using someone else's toothbrush: sure, it may be washed or cleaned, but it's still someone else's toothbrush. Bleh!
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Re: Water recycling shower design?

Postby asr9754 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:18 am

Have attempted multiple versions of shower stations over the years (never a recycled water one) but IMHO shower stations are oft misused, abused, and not maintained by campers, even good friends and solid burners. Something about being naked and dirty, perhaps, but people don't want to follow instructions, clean up, and/or schlep water to and fro. I've given up on it, using now just an uber-simple spray bottle and catch tub. Spray bottles painted black and left in the sun get pretty warm and are frugal with the H2Os. Still pretty luxurious, it's like a handheld showerhead, people pay extra for that in Defaultia!

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Re: Water recycling shower design?

Postby BBadger » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:03 pm

Yeah, it's one thing to set up some elaborate system for your own use, but once you have other camp-mates using it, all but the simplest instructions are forgotten or neglected. We once had someone not turn the water entirely off on our camp shower, causing it to leak for a long time. It not only wasted a lot of water, but left a huge mess, which unfortunately made onto the playa itself and impacted our LNT evaluation. I don't even know if it was an actual camp-mate or some asshole who sneaked in and used it.

I could just see the instructions for such a system with the recycled water:

  1. After you're done, turn off power to the pump!
  2. Open the valve on the catch reservoir to dump the remaining water into the catch-bucket to dump into the grey-water barrel.
  3. Dump the catch-bucket into the grey-water barrel. Put the bucket back under the shower.
  4. Take the garden sprayer and hose off the interior of the catch-reservoir. Don't let it overfill the catch-bucket. Dump the bucket again if it is close to full.
  5. Close the valve on the reservoir.
  6. Pour some sanitation/cleaning liquid into the catch reservoir the upper spout.
  7. Pour some water in the upper spout so that it runs through the pipes and back into the reservoir.
  8. Take the scrubby brush and scrub the interior of the catch-reservoir to get the solids off the wall.
  9. Pour some rinsing water to remove the cleaning liquid from the system. Don't leave it there or the next person will be covered with soapy water!
  10. Make sure it's all gone from the pipes or the liquid will set and the pump will clog!
  11. Open the valve on the reservoir and allow the soapy water to pour out. Again, if the bucket is nearly full, dump it out, and put the bucket back.
  12. Use the garden sprayer and spray the interior of the reservoir again to get the soapy residue off. Again, if the bucket is nearly full, dump it out, and put the bucket back.
  13. Put some bleach in the grey-water barrel.
  14. If you forget any of these steps I will fucking cut you.

The reality will be that the first person who doesn't know anything about all this will use the shower and do a shitty job of cleanup, which the next person will need to fix before taking their shower. Eventually, everyone will get sick of doing it and the reservoir will just be used as a regular, uncleaned, catch-basin and nobody uses the recycling part of the setup.

So maybe the recycled water system may work, but I certainly wouldn't make it available to anyone but the most dedicated camp-mates.
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Re: Water recycling shower design?

Postby Captain Goddammit » Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:09 am

Perhaps you only need to replace the water in this system with PBR.
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Re: Water recycling shower design?

Postby FlyingMonkey » Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:02 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:Perhaps you only need to replace the water in this system with PBR.


I would rather drink the recycled shower water.
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Re: Water recycling shower design?

Postby BBadger » Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:24 am

FlyingMonkey wrote:
Captain Goddammit wrote:Perhaps you only need to replace the water in this system with PBR.


I would rather drink the recycled shower water.


You can advertise it in pretty much the same way too:

"33 Fine Brews Showers Blended to Make ONE Great (?) Beer Shower!"
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Re: Water recycling shower design?

Postby ygmir » Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:05 am

BBadger wrote:
FlyingMonkey wrote:
Captain Goddammit wrote:Perhaps you only need to replace the water in this system with PBR.


I would rather drink the recycled shower water.


You can advertise it in pretty much the same way too:

"33 Fine Brews Showers Blended to Make ONE Great (?) Beer Shower!"

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Re: Water recycling shower design?

Postby Captain Goddammit » Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:51 pm

Next issue; sometimes people pee in the shower...
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Re: Water recycling shower design?

Postby VgKing » Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:36 am

How safe is the recycled water? If I have to rinse myself with clean water, then the recycled water is not clean, right?

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Re: Water recycling shower design?

Postby Mountain Bobby » Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:54 am

Captain Goddammit wrote:Next issue; sometimes people pee in the shower...


And here I was thinking we were getting kinky!
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