In recent years we have had to deal with extreme drought in the Netherlands. You would expect this to be a wake-up call for everyone to be more economical with water, but unfortunately that is not the case. The drought is getting worse every year and threatens our drinking water supply. The media does pay attention to this, but they always come up with the same tips and advice on how we can save water. One of the most frequently mentioned tips is to take shorter showers. But we know there is a much better solution: the upcycle shower system.
We are the inventors of the Upfall Shower, an innovative system that saves water and energy by filtering and reusing shower water. We developed this system in 2013 and since then we have been trying to bring it to the attention of the drinking water companies, the Vewin (the association of drinking water companies in the Netherlands), Milieu Centraal and other government institutions involved in water management and sustainability. But much to our frustration no one seems to listen to us. It seems as if they deliberately ignore or oppose us. We are not the only ones experiencing this. Many other companies that have come up with innovative solutions for water conservation and reuse have the same problem. They don't get support or funding for their ideas, they're thwarted with all sorts of excuses about safety or cost, or they're fobbed off with empty promises or pilot projects that lead nowhere. An example of this is the project in Leidsche Rijn where toilets were connected to rainwater instead of drinking water. This project was stopped after one installation failure. Since then, this project has been used as an argument to stop connecting toilets to rainwater, while this is a simple and effective way to save drinking water.
The shower is by far the largest consumer of water in the home. Nobody takes a bath anymore, because that takes too much time and water. A bath used to be a luxury that you wanted in every home, for example for the children or for the resale value of your house. But nowadays children don't bathe until they are twelve, but until they are six, because they are too busy with their screens and games. The bath is now only there for decoration or in case you ever want to use it again, but that rarely if ever happens. No, the shower is now the most important part of the bathroom and preferably a large shower head with plenty of water, a so-called rain or rain shower. That gives a wonderful feeling, but also costs a lot of hot water and energy. With a central heating boiler you will soon run out of hot water if you want to use such a large shower head. With a heat pump you can solve this problem by installing a large water heater that can provide enough hot water for your shower. But then you also need more solar panels to heat that boiler and therefore more space on your roof and more money in your wallet. But with the Upfall Shower you don't have all these problems. The Upfall Shower uses only 2 to 3 liters of water per minute for a powerful shower of 35 liters of water per minute. The shower water is filtered and heated up again by a heat exchanger, so you hardly waste any water and energy. A small 200 liter boiler is enough for a family of four and you need fewer solar panels to heat your boiler. Moreover, the Upfall Shower is good for the environment, because you reduce your water and energy consumption and therefore also your CO2 emissions. 3 monkeys photo from Bol.com