Browse more profiles
The Portland Shower
The Portland Shower


A team of seven PSU students want to change the way we conserve water and energy in our homes. The Portland Shower is an open loop system wherein a user’s shower water is captured, treated, reheated and cycled back into the water supply raining out of a shower head.

Over the last few years droughts have affected nearly every region in the U.S. While California, the Southwest and much of Texas have been hardest hit, large swaths of the Northwest are under sever or extreme drought conditions. Faced with these circumstances, the conservation of water is a paramount need.

According to the EPA1, an American family of four uses an average of 400 gallons of water per day. Roughly 70 percent of that is used indoors. Of that, the EPA estimates 16.8 percent, or 47 gallons goes down our shower drains. That amounts to over 17,000 gallons of water a year.

The Portland Shower offers a way to reuse as much as half of the water that would otherwise go down the drain. 

For many here in the Northwest and in California’s major cities (San Francisco, Oakland and Sand Diego) water and sewer are expensive utilities2  as is the gas and electricity used to heat water. The Portland Shower team estimates that their device could save a household of two between $200 and $400 a year, while a household of six could save between $600 and $1,200 a year in utility fees.

The team has used funds from the Launch-in-9 and Clean Tech Challenges to build prototypes and conduct market research. By incorporating the Portland Shower into bathroom remodels and new construction, the team believes they can help users conserve our most precious resource while saving money at the same time.

Authored by Shaun McGillis
Posted September 5, 2014