Normally, you probably wouldn’t consider drinking your own shower water after you had used it, but throw a couple of plants in there and you may well reconsider. Or, perhaps you’ll react like the Drudge-ushered Daily Mail commenters and say stuff like “WHAT IS THIS GARBAGE, I EARN THE RIGHT TO WASTE WATER AND I’LL BE DAMNED IF SOME EGGHEAD SCIENTIST SAYS OTHERWISE.”
The idea really isn’t all that novel. Strange in a domestic setting, perhaps, but nothing you wouldn’t find in nature. As the shower water collects on the bottom of the tub, it’s run through a series of filters and chemical-soaking plants. After getting a nice cleaning from the plants, the water goes underneath the tub and into further network of filters. When it’s all said and done, the water leaves the system perfectly drinkable.
The invention hasn’t been prototyped yet, and exists only as these fancy drawings. So far, at least.
And readers of a certain age may recall the wetlands episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy, where he describes how wetlands are nature’s coffee filters. Keep in mind the show is designed for elementary school kids, so the terminology is somewhat simplified.
Thanks to YouTube, I’ve embedded that very episode here for your viewing pleasure. It’s broken into three parts, but this is only part one; interested parties can find the remaining parts on YouTube proper.