For many people, a shower is the most delightful part of the day where they get to take a moment to rest and let the water wash away their cares. Unfortunately, one person can use up to 20 gallons of water during an 8-minute shower. However, new showerhead technology is being developed that may help reduce the amount of water people use while bathing. Here's more information about the new bath tech that's becoming available and a few tips on what you can do to conserve water in your home now.
Changing the Way People Shower
One type of showerhead under development reduces water consumption by changing how the water is distributed. Instead of letting water flow in thin streams through small holes like the current products on the market, the new showerhead uses technology that creates a mist by atomizing the water into tiny drops. This increases the amount of surface area the water covers, resulting in 30 percent less water volume required.
According to available information, the showerhead only uses about 6 gallons of water per 8-minute shower. With water at a national average of $2.00 per 1,000 gallons, a family of four could save about $40 per year (using only 24 gallons of water for showers instead of 80) with this technology.
Another type of new shower technology was designed based on water recycling systems used by astronauts when they go into space. Unlike other bath systems that pull fresh water from the water heater each time the shower is turned on, this system filters and recycles about 5 gallons of water in a closed loop. The dirty water is sent through a drain that purifies it before sending it back through the shower head, so you're essentially using the same few gallons over and over again. This particular system claims to reduce water usage by 90 percent and energy usage by 80 percent.
How to Save Water Now
While both of these products are not yet available for residential distribution, there are several things you can do right now to reduce the amount of water you use when you take a shower:
- If the showerheads in your home haven't been replaced since the early 90s, switch them out for newer low-flow models that only use 2.5 gallons per minute. Prior to 1992, showerheads used 5.5 gallons per minute. So for minimal cost, you can cut your water usage in half. If you're feeling particularly adventurous and frugal, there are models on the market that use even less water.
- Turn off the water when you're not using it (e.g. when you're shampooing your hair or shaving), then turn it back on when you're ready to rinse. You can purchase specialty showerheads with built-in switches that cut off the flower of water with quick twist. If it takes you five minutes to shave, you save 12.5 gallons each time you shut the water off while you do it.
- Place a bucket in the tub to capture the excess water while you're waiting for the shower to heat up. Use the extra water in other places such as the laundry machine or to water your garden.
- About 10,000 gallons of water are wasted every year due to plumbing leaks. Have your pipes checked by a plumber and get any detected leaks sealed as soon as possible.
It is likely showerhead technology will continue to change as the need to conserve water becomes more and more pressing. To talk to a plumber about the options available now that can help you minimize your water usage and save money, try this website.