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(Archive) Cycleau

Cycleau is a compact water treatment system designed to recycle wastewater to drinking water to promote a circular means of access to clean water.

This project was part of DDW 2023
Our first built prototype of Cycleau — © Credit: Noemi Florea, Lead Designer of Cycleau

Around the world, challenges of water scarcity and pollution have affected local communities’ access to clean drinking water and safe waterways. As a strategic intervention, Cycleau offers point-of-use water treatment and wastewater recycling in a low-cost, retrofitted system designed for homes.

The Challenge: Global Water Scarcity and Pollution

Around the world, a trichotomy of challenges concerning water scarcity, drinking water contamination, and sewage pollution have compromised many communities’ ability to access clean drinking water and safe waterways. Communities globally depend on plastic bottled water and water trucks to meet their basic needs, causing cumulative stress on local ecosystems through increased carbon emissions, rising waste, and growing pressure on natural water resources.

Cycleau as a Low-Cost, Compact Water Treatment Solution

Cycleau is a compact greywater treatment system designed to retrofit below sinks, showers, and laundry units to capture and treat greywater for potable water reuse. The hardware unit, which is sized at 300 millimetres by 300 millimetres by 500 millimetres, connects to the drain pipe and water supply lines which are exposed below sinks, showers, and laundry units to redirect incoming municipal water supplies through a point-of-use treatment system that removes public water contaminants, while also collecting greywater for immediate treatment and purification to potable standards. To expand access to clean drinking water, Cycleau serves as a point-of-use treatment system where water can be filtered and purified immediately before it’s consumed. To reduce the systemic impacts of water scarcity and sewage pollution, Cycleau reduces the water footprints of buildings by reusing up to 20% greywater for potable reuse, while also treating up to 80% of remaining greywater to non potable standards before it’s discharged into open waterways. 

Scalability and Impact

Cycleau’s scalability is one to one, meaning its impact increases unit by unit. One unit of Cycleau conserves 60 litres per person per day, and treats up to 300 litres of wastewater to non-potable standards before discharge. When scaled up to 100 people, 600 litres of water are saved and 3000 litres of wastewater are treated. When scaled across one million users, Cycleau conserves 75 million litres of drinking water each day, and reduces 1 trillion litres of sewage pollution each year.

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Our first prototype retrofitted below a sink. — © Credit: Noemi Florea, Lead Designer of Cycleau

Cycleau was prototyped multiple times before. — © Credit: Noemi Florea, Lead Designer of Cycleau

Cycleau retrofits below sinks and showers. — © Credit: Noemi Florea, Lead Designer of Cycleau

Cycleau includes multiple units for filtration.