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  • What is the WATERouter®?
    The WATERouter® is a new water recycling system that utilizes greywater to flush a toilet. It is easily retrofitted onto most existing toilets utilizing greywater which is typically captured from a nearby sink.
  • Where can I buy the WATERouter®?
    WATERouter® is currently in the proof-of-concept and licensing stage. A "proof-of-concept prototype" has been developed to demonstrate the basic concepts and show that they can be implemented in real life usage scenarios. We are currently working with different manufacturers to license and produce WATERouter®. Please contact us if you are interested in licensing opportunities. We look forward to hearing from you!
  • How is WATERouter® different from previously available greywater toilet devices?
    WATERouter® SAVES MORE WATER Some devices incorporate the sink directly with a toilet tank as illustrated in these two examples: These combined "sink+toilet" fixtures run cold water to a wash basin for a few minutes (the fill period) after every flush so that a user can wash his/her hands. Only water that is utilized during this fill period is recycled. WATERouter® utilizes a separate water storage reservoir allowing greywater to be collected anytime throughout the day, saving more water. In addition, some of these appliances require remodeling or are not very ergonomical (imagine having to lean over the toilet to wash your hands with only cold water). WATERouter®, allows you to utilize your existing toilet and wash you hands in your existing sink with both hot and cold water! WATERouter® WORKS ALMOST ANYWHERE Some other systems utilize an electric pump to move stored grey water to the toilet tank. These systems are complex and require a source of electricity to operate. The existing toilet's plumbing requires modification to integrate, manage the fresh water / greywater flow and control the pump. Additional space and precautions are needed to install the pump + reservoir to prevent leaks and minimize electrical risks. These limitations make it harder for the end user to install. WATERouter® can be installed and maintained almost anywhere by most home owners without the need to hire plumbers or electricians.
  • Why is conserving fresh water important?
    While over 70% of the earth is covered with water, less than 3% is fresh water and less than 1% is accessible. The rest is locked away in glaciers, snowfields and below the earth's surface. According to World Vision ( over 800 million people lack access to fresh water and over 800 children die from poor water and sanitation. Those that do have access to freshwater incur both an economic as well as environmental cost that has worldwide impact. Then why don't we convert all that salt water in the oceans to drinkable fresh water you might ask? Well, there is a significant cost to desalination as well. The most common way to convert sea water to drinkable fresh water is by reverse osmosis using high pressure pumps to force seawater through special membranes to break the salt-water chemical bond in seawater. This requires significant energy which many not be available, especially in developing areas. Small plant and animal species are destroyed as they are pulled into these plants altering the environmental balance. Often fossil fuels are used to generate the energy needed, further adding to the environmental impact. This is why the cost of fresh water, especially in the South and Southwest US, continues to be a significant monthly expenditure. For a family of 4 using 150 gallons/person/day, the average cost of water across the entire US exceeds $100 USD/month in 2019 ( And this cost continues to rise. Over the past several decades, there has been significant effort to conserve fresh water. Examples range from limiting the flow rates of faucets and toilets to engineering water efficient appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines. We have become more freshwater efficient, but fresh water usage continues to grow with population. The economic and environmental cost remains significant. It goes without saying that fresh water has profound impact on all of us worldwide. For many, it is life. Let's share it wisely.
  • What is greywater?
    Greywater is gently used water from your bathroom sinks, showers, tubs, and washing machines. The WATERouter® can save a significant amount of fresh water by utilizing this greywater to flush toilets.
  • What is the difference between greywater and blackwater?
    Blackwater is water that is not reusable and may have come into contact with urine and fecal matter. Blackwater comes from the toilet and is sent to the sewer. Other types of blackwater include water from the kitchen sink or dishwasher since the water comes into contact with food that could contaminate the water. Blackwater contains harmful bacteria and disease-causing pathogens, and therefore is extremely difficult to filter and clean for reuse. All blackwater from your home is sent straight to the sewer. WATERouter® does NOT use blackwater.
  • Does the WATERouter® use blackwater?
  • How much water is used while washing hands (for 20 seconds)?
    An average faucet flow rate is between 1.0 - 1.5 gpm (gallons per minute). Hand washing for 20 seconds can use up to 0.5 gallons of water.
  • How much water is used for brushing teeth?
    If you leave the water on while brushing, about 5 gallons of water are used.
  • What is the biggest use of fresh water in a home?
    While bathtubs use more water in a single use. The toilet is flushed many times a day (and often by many family members). This makes the toilet is the biggest use of water in a typical home. Average family of four uses 881 gallons of water per week, just by flushing the toilet. Replacing a 3.5-gallon toilet with low flow toilets can save a household 12,000 gallons of water per year. The WATERouter® can save significant amounts of fresh water in both older inefficient toilets as well as newer low flow toilets.
  • How much fresh water can I save?
    The average individual flushes a toilet 5* times a day. In an older home, with typical 3.5 gallons per flush toilets, over 6,387 gallons of fresh water / year is used per person. That's over 25,000 gallons of fresh water / year for a family of 4. WATERouter® has the potential of saving a significant portion of this fresh water usage. *American Water Works Association.
  • Besides using a WATERouter® what are other ways I can make a difference and conserve fresh water?
    Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth. Reduce showering time to 5 minutes. Collect rain water in a rain barrow to use for irrigating lawns/gardens. Check with your local city/village/county for programs that they offer to help conserve water and save you money Here are two of many websites focused on how we can all contribute to saving fresh water:
  • Is there any risk of overflow? Or water backup?
    No, there is no chance of overflow or water backing up. This is because of the following: In the example where a sink is used as the greywater supply, excess grey water continues down the drain pipe once the WATERouter® greywater reservoir is filled. If excess greywater is supplied to fill the toilet tank, the toilet tank’s native overflow mechanism is applied to the expel the excess greywater into the toilet bowl. An optional backflow prevention valve can also be added to the fresh water line supply to your toilet.
  • What if I have not used enough water to fill the WATERouter® greywater reservoir?  Can I still flush my toliet?
    Yes, the toilet’s native fill mechanism is used to make up any shortage of greywater available so that the toilet can be flushed. You do not need to collect enough greywater before you are able to flush the toilet.
  • Are there any issues with sanitation or health concerns using greywater?
    Reusing greywater is an ideal application for flushing a toilet. Note that we are not applying “black water” for this purpose. Water filtering and treatment will also be available.
  • With virus and Covid-19 concerns is using a manual system safe?
    Yes, everything is controlled with a press of your foot. It is safer to use a WATERouter®, as you are not required to use your hand to hit the handle on the toilet to flush it.
  • Can I collect water from other sources in my home (tub/shower, washing machine, outdoor rain barrow, water softener)?"
    Yes, as long as the greywater flow from the source to the WATERouter® can be done via gravity.
  • What tools are required to install the WATERouter®?
    Ultimately this will depend on the final product design but basic home tools are envisioned: Wrench / Pliers for connecting drain tap. Screw driver for adjusting cables. Box Knife for trimming toilet tank adapter, tubes.
  • How difficult is the installation?  Does it required a plumber or is it possible to DIY?
    Standard installations are DIY.The level of difficulty is low to medium low depending on the specfic configuration and whether any additonal customization is needed for the sink/vanity/toliet setup in your desired location.
  • How long does it take to install a WATERouter®?
    Installation should take approximately 1 hour.
  • How much space is required for the WATERouter®?
    The prototype dimensions are: 12" W x 16" L x 16" H (not including attached tubing/piping). But the final design may vary in size. Ideally, the space available for greywater reservoir capable of holidng 1.6 gallons of liquid (or the current toliet flush volume standard) is needed. The foot pedal can be designed separated from the greywater reservoir to allow additional placement flexibility.
  • What if my sink and toliet are not next to each other?
    The WATERouter® should be installed next to the toilet and the distance from the sink water source should not mater. However the WATERouter® must be lower than the output from the sink.
  • Are there any other considerations for WATERouter® placement?
    Water inlet of WATERouter® must allow water to flow in by gravity (i.e. must be lower than greywater supply, such as a sink).
  • Does the WATERouter® need access to a power source, electrical outlet, or require an electrician?"
    The WATERouter® is manually powered with the press of your foot. No batteries or electrical power required. Making it wasy to install and use anywhere!
  • Can the WATERouter® be installed in a tiny home? Mobile home? Boat?
    Yes, as long as there is enough space for a foot pedal and the greywater reservoir.

water conservation, environmental education, product design

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