Conserving Water with Low Flow Showerheads

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Water conservation is of the utmost importance and growing more so by the day. As drought conditions present in various locations around the country, water worries move to the forefront of our minds. Long, luxurious showers of days past need to be reconsidered as we move forward with a 'less is more' type of approach.

There are many ways you can conserve water while showering. For example, shaving for both men and women can be done elsewhere or with the water flow turned off. Shampooing and lathering up can be done with the water turned off as well. The only problem is that in the cold months, you may not wish to stop the flow of hot water while you wash as it will allow you to catch a chill that could lead to illness if severe enough. With that in mind, there is a need to keep the water running, and that need can be fulfilled by a low flow showerhead.

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Photo: DC Water

In the past we discussed los flow aerators for sink faucets, and a low flow showerhead operates along the same conceptual lines. Each of these devices slows down the flow of water by adding air to it and allowing less water to flow through it. By installing a low flow showerhead, you will be able to conserve precious water and reduce your water bill at the same time. Both of these benefits are worthwhile and will pay for themselves in terms of monetary savings and good karma.

In the year 1994 it became a rule that showerheads had to be reduced to a flow rate of no more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute. Chances may be good that the showerhead in your home has been replaced since then, but that is not always the case. If you have any doubts about this, there is a test you can perform. Since 2.5 gallons per minute equates to 24 seconds per gallon, your shower should take at least that long to fill a one gallon bucket. Simply place a bucket in your shower and direct the flow into it and time its progress. If you find that your showerhead it pumping out more than 2.5 gallons per minute, it is time for an upgrade.

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Photo: Greener Ideal

Currently on the market are a several showerheads with reduced flow. Some operate at levels as low as just over a half gallon per minute while others hover around 1.5 or 2.0 gallons per minute. The price of these showerheads ranges from about $15-$40 depending on where you shop, so feel free to look around for a deal. Shopping locally may give you the most savings as you can avoid shipping while at the same time getting an up close and personal look at showerheads as you shop.

Sometimes it is only a small change that makes a big difference. Water saved amounts not only to a good decision for the environment but also for your bank account as well due to water bill savings in the long run. Such change is worthwhile not only for those of us sharing this planet today, but also for generations to come, so consider adapting or upgrading to a low flow showerhead today.

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