In the average American home, showering drives about 17% of water use and the average American family uses upwards of 40 gallons of water in the shower per day. Typically around 20% of this water used is wasted when heating up the shower. When put in perspective, this amount can add up very quickly as the shower is used every day. This wasted water amounts to roughly 1.2 trillion gallons of water per year in the United States - enough water to supply the needs of New York and New Jersey annually!
Prior to 1992, showerheads typically had a flow rate of 5.5 gallons of water per minute. In 1992 the EPA mandated that showerheads have a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute, saving 55% in water usage without shortening the duration of a shower. This decrease in showerhead flow rate became a hot topic in the United States and even made its way into pop culture as shows, such as Seinfeld, used water-saving showerheads as the punchline of their joke – Jerry Seinfeld and friends become so annoyed with their newly installed low-flow showerhead that they scoured the black market for an alternative.
Wasted water is not limited to just the time when the water is heating up, as most people are not getting into the shower the moment the water reaches their preferred temperature. This is commonly referred to as Behavioral Waste. Behavioral Waste refers to the period of time when bathers unknowingly continue to remain away from the shower after the shower has reached the proper temperature, completing activities such as brushing their teeth or picking out their outfit of the day.
Some ways to save water are:
Companies like Evolve and Hydrao have created alternative water-saving products that not only provide solutions to waste issues but have also addressed the low-pressure problem that many American homes now face with older revised showerheads.
Evolve’s new Single Function Showerhead stops the flow of water out of the showerhead once the water becomes hot to avoid wasting a drop – once inside the shower, the user simply has to tug the pull cord on the showerhead and the water flow will resume. This product makes it extremely easy to identify when the water has reached an appropriate temperature as the flow will slow to a trickle once warmed, giving users the freedom to brush their teeth or shave while waiting for the shower to get hot without the risk of wasting water. You may even be able to purchase one at a discounted price through your utility!
Hydrao’s Smart Showerhead monitors how much water volume has passed through and will use various colors to communicate to the user how much water has been used. Green indicates that less than 10 liters of water have been used. The light will shine purple when more than 10 liters have been used and will remain purple until the shower has released 30 liters. At that time, it provides a warning orange flow. If the showerhead turns red, more than 50 liters have been used.
So what are you waiting for? Go save some water!
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