Most showerheads use twice the water needed for a thorough, enjoyable shower. Every day, three billion gallons of water flow through showerheads in the United States—half of it unnecessarily. The toll this excess takes on one of our most precious resources, clean water, is a blow to both the environment and your pocketbook.
To get clean water, we tap lakes, build dams and reservoirs, and construct processing plants. By using more than we need, we overload sewer and septic systems and leach fields. Both the water itself and the energy needed to heat it cost you money.
What can you do? Think globally, act locally. Take this very easy step—convert your showerheads to low-flow models. This takes a few minutes and costs a few dollars. For an investment of $10 or less you can save $50 to $75 per year on water bills and $20 to $50 or more per year on energy bills (depending on your current showerhead and utility rates). Every new showerhead should pay for itself the first year.
Several states have initiated laws that require water-saving toilets and showerheads be installed in new construction. Other pending congressional legislation would set national water-conserving standards for plumbing fixtures and require their installation in new construction.
It is all about flow
The amount of water that moves through a shower head is measured in gallons per minute (gpm). This is called "flow rate." For more about this, see Low-Flow Showerheads: What Is Low-Flow?
No more trickle-down
Early low-flow showerheads simply blocked some of the water flow. This solution was okay for saving water but took the joy out of showering beneath a robust blast of water. Newer heads are different. Manufacturers have met the challenge to both conserve and offer a satisfying shower by engineering the movement of water, sending it through special orifices that control droplet size, focus the stream, and—in some cases—increase the blast by mixing in air, creating turbulence or pulsing.
What about scalding?
Because low-flow heads deliver less water, they're more likely to scald you if a toilet is flushed, suddenly dropping the pressure of cold water in the system. Scalding shouldn't occur in bathrooms served by ample piping (3/4-inch supplies) or where thermostatic mixing valves, anti-scald valves, or pressure-balancing valves have been installed.
If your shower water currently rises in temperature when someone flushes the toilet, you can have a plumber install an anti-scald valve. Or you can try lowering the water-heater temperature to about 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Low Flow Showerheads are available at Conserv-A-Store
Courtesy of HomeTips.Com