Reduce water wastage with a closed loop shower

Posted on 01 October 2020.

It’s possible to take a shower using ten times less water. Three INSA Toulouse engineers are developing ILYA, a closed loop shower system that is both simple to install and inexpensive.

Want to reduce your ecological footprint when you shower? The initiative of three engineers working at the National Institute of Applied Sciences in Toulouse will interest you.

These three experts, aware of the social and environmental impact their profession can have, designed ILYA, a cyclical shower system that, according to its inventors, reduces water consumption by 90% and energy consumption by 80% - as compared to an average shower that uses 60 liters of water.

So how does it work? First of all, the ILYA shower takes 5 to 10 liters of water from the water network, as is the case for a conventional shower, i.e. the volume of water necessary to fill the system and allow it to operate in a closed circuit.

This water will then be recycled, having been filtered, sterilized and re-heated to a comfortable temperature for use before being pumped back through the shower. Once finished, the used water drains into the sewerage system as usual.

This ingenious device produces substantial water savings by using around ten times less water than a conventional shower. As for energy savings, by reusing shower water that is still lukewarm and warming it back up instead of heating cold water from scratch, the water that has to be heated (which is very expensive in energy terms) - and therefore the amount of electricity or gas used - is much lower


A shower meter

The closed-loop shower concept already exists. For example, the "spatial" shower which took Mehrdad Mahdjoubi to the finals of the 2018 European Inventor's Award, created as part of NASA's "Journey to Mars" project.

Several tutorials on how to build your own system are available on the Internet. But these projects often require good DIY skills.

The product developed by our three young engineers in Toulouse aims to be simple to install and use in any bathroom.

Their prototype is now in the test phase that will compare various filter technologies and identify the one that will give the best environmental impact/cost ratio. By the engineers’ own admission, the project is progressing slowly - R&D takes time.

At the same time, they have developed a device to raise their customers’ awareness of the significant environmental impact of a shower. It consists of a sensor that measures water and energy consumption during a shower and displays the information on a screen.

This enables users to see how much water they are consuming in real time and encourages them to optimize the time or number of showers they take