Sunday, November 15, 2009

Shower Time Could Get Shortened

The average American spends about eight minutes in the shower using about 20 gallons of water. The most radical proposal would be to take fewer showers. Which would help the environment, and give you more workspace around your colleagues. In Venezuela, Hugo Chavez wants shower time limited to three minutes without any singing. Another proposal was “Navy showers”, or turning the shower off while lathering up. However, the main focus of this article is to improve water usage through modification of the showerhead.

This is not the first time that governments have looked at setting restrictions on showerheads. In 1992, the government restricted showerheads to ones that pump 2.5 gallons of water per minute. This forced showerhead companies to add flow restrictors, often by adding simple washers. The small secrets were that these washers were easily removed with a knife and there were often directions in the box about where they were located and how to remove them.

The latest idea is to turbo charge the new showerheads like today’s turbo charged cars that force more air into the engine, which boosts the power. With restrictions on the flow rates of showerheads - of 1.5 gallons per minute in Miami-Dade County, Florida, and 2.0 gallons per minute in San Antonio, Texas - improvements will have to come from technology. Engineers believe mixing air into the water can still give people the same pressure and enjoyment as a regular shower. The current technologies use either a “Venturi Vacuum”, which is often used by hotels to save water, or a small turbine inside of the showerhead. Both these technologies provide great pressure, and a reduction in water usage. However, the only problem is that the addition of more air causes users to operate their showers at higher temperatures, which uses 10% more energy in the process.

I hope that the EPA will only consider making restrictions to showerheads and not on the number of showers that I can take. Otherwise, I think we would need more space for group projects, and swimming would make chlorine the most popular cologne. I am impressed with the progress and cannot wait to take a shower in a fancy hotel to test out the new technology!



Xochitl said...

I agree that this change will be refused by many, yet this can be a big effect. I thought that the average shower an American takes would have been more than 8 mintues, because I know many people that like to spend hours in the shower. People do not like to give up something that they like and/or like doing and shower is one of them. But who doesn't like feeling clean?

The video on the page of the article shows how people like to have multiple shower heads going all at once. I thought that one was enough, yet people do not like the idea of reducing their number of shower heads.

I think that reducing the amount of time spent in the shower should be advertised more and show the causes of reducing water (shower) use..

Watch the clip of seinfeld when the water flow is low:

diana camcho said...

This article really hits close to home for me do to the fact that in my house showers are the next best thing to sliced bread, and seriously who doesn’t take those really long showers every once in a blue moon. I can honestly say that I am guilty of being a person who for some reason seems to take forever and a day to shower!!!
Well getting back on topic, I do remember when my parents bought the new shower heads that would save water, and from my experience they really aren’t that bad, I thought it was the same as when we had the regular shower heads. Then on top of that my parents said they did have a small difference in the utility bill once they had installed the new shower heads.
Basically as a change this one is very small and doable; also there really aren’t any drastic changes with this energy saver. The way I see it is that the best part of all is that for one it’s extremely simply and it can be done right in your home. Now the only concern that I would have would be if there would actually be laws imposed on a time limit for showers and not just have to install a special shower head, if so then I could see many problems popping up with freedom rights or something along those terms.

The Archreactor said...

Water conservation has come into focus as we have continued to reasse our energy use and our planet's resources.

The showerhead to some extent answers the problem of water usage in showers but i don't believe it is the long term answer. The main focus is not to keep enabling people to take longer and longer showers but to educate the public. Merely advancing the technology to push water faster will only lead to us taking showers by having water vapor thrown at us over time.

States and even countries are now seriously evaluating their water use. Califonia for example is placing restrictions on water use from irrigation of crops and even water cuts up to 50%. Countries who have even less freshwater available to them are going to have to come up with another answer other than showerheads to conserve the precious resource of water.