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System to Reduce At-Home Water Consumption Wins Jackson Award

Jun 17, 2021   |   by Julie Bonette

A team of Dartmouth engineering undergraduates who designed and built a system that reduces at-home water consumption by reusing sink water to flush the toilet has won Spring term's Phillip R. Jackson Award for best overall performance in ENGS 21: Introduction to Engineering.

The members of the winning team are: Abby Wiseman '22, Jack Barksdale '23, TJ Bryan '23, Julian Perez-Doval '23, and David Vonderheide '21. The team's TA was Youssef Marzouk, a dual-degree student.

The students realized that due to the climate crisis, which has changed weather patterns and increased water shortages, homeowners need unobtrusive ways to reduce water consumption for both environmental and financial reasons. Since nearly a quarter of all domestic water usage comes from flushing the toilet, the team recognized an opportunity to elongate the life cycle of sink water by reusing it to flush the toilet.

The result is GryWtr Technologies, an easy-to-use, affordable system which automatically pumps water from your sink to your toilet, saving up to 1.2 gallons of water per flush. The one-pipe attachment can be installed under your sink in under 30 minutes and includes a flow sensor to record the amount of water saved in real time.

"As we come to terms with the new world we live in, people must rethink their water consumption and make strides to reduce their water burden. We created a system that actually rewards you for saving water, because at GryWtr, we believe that doing your part for the planet should be as painless as flushing the toilet."

GryWtr Technologies

"The team's innovation consistently impressed their colleagues, review board, and the broader Thayer community. It has been an excellent term in ENGS 21 with a plethora of top-tier projects."

Course instructor Ryan Chapman

The Phillip R. Jackson Award Jackson Award is given to the ENGS 21 group each term with the best overall performance, and is based on the following criteria:

• Societal importance of the selected problem,
• User-centered design considerations,
• Sophistication of the design and degree of difficulty,
• Functionality and testing of the prototype,
• Holistic approach to the engineering design process, and
• Consistent outstanding performance on both written and oral milestones.

Jackson was a former member of Thayer's Board of Overseers.

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