Singing in the Rain – Sustainable Showering
There is nothing quite like stepping into a hot shower at the end of a challenging day. For many, the shower is a place within our homes we can escape to; a place to unwind, relax, and wash away the stresses of everyday life. We are told that showers are a more sustainable option than taking a bath, but have you ever considered how much water you actually use when taking a five-minute shower? This of course, depends upon the water supply pressure and the type of shower head you have fitted.
How much water do we use when showering?
As Harvard University, Sustainability cites, a typical shower head will use 9.46 litres of water per minute. For a 5-minute shower, this equates to 47.3 litres of water used. This equates to filling an average shower cubicle to approximately 10cm deep in water. However, if you have a shower fitted with a low-flow shower head, water consumption is reduced to 7.5 litres per minute. Your water consumption for a 5 minute shower would be reduced by approximately 20% to 37.5 litres.
Looking at this from a commercial perspective. A hotel comprising 50 rooms at full (single) occupancy, where all guest bathrooms are fitted with a low flow shower head and each person showers for 5 minutes each day, the total volume of water used per day for showering would be 1875 litres; that’s the same as 1875 1litre bottles of water. So how can we preserve our daily ritual of escaping to that one place which provides us with peace and tranquillity, and promotes our health and wellbeing, in a more sustainable way? Can we reduce our individual water consumption further?
So we could make like a sailor and adopt the following regime: switch on shower, we skin, switch off shower, lather up, switch on shower, rinse off, switch off shower, were done! And whilst this would reduce our water consumption, it isn’t very relaxing.
There is a product that does not limit the time you spend in the shower and at the same time, reduces water consumption considerable. Orbital Systems (…and im not on their payroll!) has created a new shower, following an original NASA design. The shower is based on a closed loop circuit , which recycles the waste water of the shower. This is achieved, as cited by Orbital System’s, by ‘smart system filters, which purifies, reheats and then recirculates the water when showering’. Unbeknown to many of us, our shower heads can contain bacteria, for instance legionella, which as cited by Orbital Systems, can contaminate our shower heads’.
Legionella is, as cited by Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, ‘a bacterium, found naturally in freshwater environments’, which can become an issue when it gets into our man made water systems. The orbital systems’ shower filter and purifying system (water is purified using UV-C disinfection) can reduce bacterial levels to below harmful levels. Additionally, this uniquely designed shower is not only able to maintain a set temperature due to its recirculation process, but it can maintain a ‘consistent and powerful flow’.
The orbital system’s shower can reduce water consumption (per shower) by up to 90%, so for the 50 room hotel, daily (shower) water consumption drops from 1875 litres per day to just 187 litres per day that’s a daily saving of 1687 litres per day, whilst further decreasing your energy consumption by up to 80%. I know…, how can a shower reduce your household energy? According to Orbital Systems, the heating of water within our homes is the ‘second largest energy expense’. And its not just the sustainability of the shower which makes it unique, but the shower can be personalised to your water needs. The shower has been designed so that you can programme it by an App, ‘My Water’. No more waiting for the shower to run warm or struggling to set the correct temperature, you can now programme the shower to your desired temperature. The App also provides information in regards to how much water you have used.
The showers are currently designed to be installed within a tiled bathroom, which has running water and electricity. Additionally, the bathroom needs to have internet connectivity. The shower is not recommended for the use within mobile homes, sorry van-lifers and caravanners. However, for all those of you who are seeking to live off grid, the shower can work, as long as your off-grid home can meet Orbital Systems’ installation requirements. The installation process consists of two stages and requires an electrician and a plumber.
Replacing traditional showers with this shower will not only help to save water but will make showering more personalised and efficient. Its incredible how much water we actually use when showering using a normal or low flow shower head. And the Orbital Systems shower not only reduces water consumption, but it reduces bacteria, and efficiently maintains temperature and flow. Therefore, making the daily ritual even more enjoyable and relaxing and promoting our health and wellbeing. For more information on how the shower works, click on here.
(For all you movie lovers, click on the link, the ultimate showering tune Singing in the Rain)