Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Combination sink/cistern

  (+25, -1)(+25, -1)(+25, -1)
(+25, -1)
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To reduce water use, I propose that the toilet cistern be built into the bathroom sink unit. Thus water that is used to wash hands can be re-used to flush. To make this work, the sink may have to be higher than normal; this might require that the floor around the sink be raised by a corresponding amount (six inches or so).

Not having the cistern behind the toilet would save space.

Obviously the system must work even if insufficient "grey" water is put into the cistern from the sink. This could be achieved with a normal float valve allowing clean water into the cistern if the level got too low. Above a preset water level this would close the clean water input, but the cistern could be filled above this with grey water.

To flush, a lever would be pulled as normal, but instead of starting a siphon that would empty the cistern, it would open a valve for a pre-set amount of time (perhaps using a viscous damper to control the valve closing). This would allow a roughly constant volume of water to flow regardless of how full the cistern was.

This could be a useful way to install a grey water system in an otherwise standard home.

david_scothern, Apr 04 2005

(?) Hack 'n Paste Drawing http://www.geocitie..._matthew/terlet.htm
The plumbing would obviously be quite simple. (edited, [po]) ([bm gum, in this example, when the water fills the cistern, it overflows into the sink drain.) [contracts, Apr 04 2005]

My photorealistic conception of the idea http://blogs.bootsn...chives/002600.shtml
[half, Apr 04 2005]

Combo urinal sink Urinal_20sink
I like the urinal sink a little better. [bungston, Jun 16 2008]

(??) sink-tank toilet Popular Mechanics award http://www.caromausa.com/Press
This is the first one I've heard about states-side but I saw a much much nicer one in a Tokyo mag a couple years ago. Sink was turned 90 deg from this so was more convenient. [gnarlyis3, Nov 15 2008]

Yer actual average Japanese toilet http://www.designcl...Japanese-Toilet.jpg
..mit zink und zistern in ein (is it possible to do pig German?) [not_morrison_rm, Dec 30 2014]

[link]






       the soapy water would most probably help to keep the loo clean.
po, Apr 04 2005
  

       Nice one. +
Trickytracks, Apr 04 2005
  

       I think this is a great idea. [+] Wash your hands, then the runoff soap cleans your toilet.
contracts, Apr 04 2005
  

       your loo seat at ground level, contracts? either that or you would need to stand on the cistern to wash your hands.   

       why not have the sink = cistern?
po, Apr 04 2005
  

       Nice! It also needs an overflow pipe in the cistern. If too much sink water is used in one go, you don't want the tank to overflow. +
bm-gub, Apr 04 2005
  

       [half], I saw that when it was up earlier. I wouldn't want to straddle when scrubbing, but you're right, it is essentially this.
contracts, Apr 04 2005
  

       Bun. I was thinking about the overflow pipe too, and you could just put in an epiglottis-style valve to stop off the cistern in case you wanted the contents of the sink to go straight down the drain (e.g., to avoid the toothpaste problem).   

       <edit>I agree [contracts]'s drawing looks much more appealing than either of [half]'s links. Also looks bloody easy to assemble.</e>
Etymon, Apr 04 2005
  

       I was in Japan a few years back, and they have something similar to this. There was a miniature sink built right into the top of the toilet tank, and when you flushed, the water comes out of the tap, which then (after you wash your hands) goes down the drain into the tank. However, it was usually just for washing hands, not for brushing teeth, etc. since the space was awkward to maneuovre in.
Blue Stained Feet, Apr 05 2005
  

       How do you keep the stored greywater from smelling, growing algae, and growing bacteria?
robinism, Apr 05 2005
  

       //How do you keep the stored greywater from smelling, growing algae, and growing bacteria?// By flushing it down the toilet?
UV steriliser?
Add bleach to the soap?
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Apr 05 2005
  

       the tank should be at least twice as large as usual. sice it would always need to have enough water for a flush (enough to fill a normal tank) but still need to accept water whenever someone uses the sink.   

       When he ran a camp in New York my dad proposed a similar idea in which the shower water was used to flush toilets. the health department vetoed it. I don't know exactly why.   

       [BrauBeaton] i think the idea is to use less of the drinking water not to create less polution.
RBStimers, Apr 05 2005
  

       BrauBeaton, surely what you are saving on is the treatment of water before it reaches your house? The output will, on balance, need less treatment than the output from a normal toilet and sink.
david_scothern, Apr 05 2005
  

       OK, I agree with you there. My previous annotation was not clear; although the effluent will need the same level of treatment, less water has had to be purified in the first place. Thus overall, less cleaning is done to the water. All the savings are made upstream of the user.
david_scothern, Apr 06 2005
  

       Height is crucial to this one and I think will cause a problem. There's no reason why my upstairs sink can't feed my downstairs toilet though.
wagster, Apr 06 2005
  

       To those concerned with the 'treatment' of grey water and such. It simply doesn't happen. Organic nasties may get treated in digesters etc to break down the most unpleasant of effluents, but the shampoo, soap and other inorganic detergents etc are simply diluted when they hit the river.
zen_tom, Apr 06 2005
  

       UnaBubba, isn't land-filtration (i.e. pouring it on the ground) just a nice way of saying it's untreated?
zen_tom, Apr 06 2005
  

       UB, you really know shit.
salachair, Apr 06 2005
  

       From "Introduction to Permaculture", Bill Mollison, 1991: "Handbasin water can also be used to fill the cisterns of flush toilets, thus performing double duty."   

       [contracts] You don't need the overflow from the hand basin, as toilet cisterns have an overflow already (into the toilet bowl).
spidermother, Jul 22 2006
  

       Rotating the sink 90 degrees either way or 180 degrees would leave the sink user standing to right or left or behind toilet. At least the user isn't trying to use the sink while straddling the toilet bowl.
popbottle, Dec 30 2014
  

       Well, predictably in Japan....slightly vice-versa,the water going to fill in the cistern runs through a bowl on top of the cistern, picture says a thousand words etc link.   

       Also the soap sometimes comes in one of them plastic mesh bags attached to aforementioned cistern, so no bits of soap slipping from your grasp.   

       PPS some joker always turns up the toilet seat + bidet water heating to maximum, I will not go into details on how I found this out myself..
not_morrison_rm, Dec 30 2014
  

       The engineering of "grey water" reclamation systems with ideas such as this are pretty common, but not common enough. The idea that you'd have a sink drain to the sewer then pump fresh, treated, chlorinated water in to water the lawn is pretty silly when we're dealing with droughts and water supply issues. Of course there are luddites out there who are worried that toothpaste residue will turn our lawns into some kind of flesh hungry zombie grass.   

       Science and logic have no place in the discussion of public works projects.
doctorremulac3, Dec 30 2014
  

       I've always been leery about the "use gray water for the toilet" thing: dunno'bout you but my dishwater is horrid; I don't want it sitting around in a cistern, fermenting, or coating the pipes. Lawn or garden use, on the other hand, plug me in: use a safe detergent.   

       The bit nobody mentions is that current city sewer systems have been designed, one would assume, such that the black-water has lots of gray water to help move it along to the treatment plant. Reducing the amount of innocuous water in the sewer means increasing the toxicity, smell, etc.
FlyingToaster, Dec 30 2014
  

       I looked at your recent link. Impressive. The full page of instructions and warnings on the lid gives me pause about rushing out to buy one.
popbottle, Dec 30 2014
  
      
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