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!