by Shasta Phillips
When MMWD’s Water Conservation Department is deciding which showerhead to give out during our Conservation Assistance Program (CAP) surveys, occasionally I am asked to take home a few different high-efficiency showerheads for some real-world testing. How am I qualified to test these showerheads? For those of you who don’t follow competitive showering, here are some of my credentials:
- Considered by many as a child prodigy of showering, I took my first shower at the age of one.
- At age three, while many kids my age were splashing around in the bath with rubber duckies, I was showering at an 8th grade level.
- In 2007, I set the North American record for most efficient shower.
Shower Testing Factors
Shower force, contrary to what the name implies, has nothing to do with Star Wars. It is, however, the speed at which the shower water contacts the showerer. One way to test shower force is to visually measure the straightness of the water stream. There’s an old saying in the biz regarding shower force: the straighter the stream, makes the shower supreme. (Okay, I actually just made that up, but maybe it will catch on.)
Spray coverage is also very important. Spray coverage is the amount of measurable area wetted by the shower. Many people believe that the spray coverage is weaker here on the West Coast (due to the East Coast coverage bias), but fortunately this is untrue.
Shower force and shower coverage combine to give you another factor: perceived water volume. This is a measure of how well the showerhead can trick you into thinking you are standing under a Hawaiian waterfall.
Manufacturers of efficient showerheads continue to amaze me with their ability to do more with less. New technologies such as infusing the shower water with air, amplifying the speed of the water, and controlling the size of the water droplets allow these new showerheads to give you great force, coverage and perceived water volume, all while saving you water and money.
Heating water is a very energy-intensive process. Reducing the water used in the shower will save you money on both your water bill and your energy bill. If an average family of four replaces their old showerhead with an efficient one, they can realize savings of up to $250 dollars annually on utility bills. That’s enough to buy half an iPhone!
What About Your Showerhead?
Unsure as to whether your showerheads are efficient or not? Well, through our Conservation Assistance Program, one of MMWD’s conservation specialists will test your showerheads and, if found to be inefficient, give you efficient models free of charge. Yes, free! Don’t even try to calculate the return on investment on that deal because I’m pretty sure it will involve dividing by zero. Also, while at your property, we can evaluate your irrigation, check for leaks, and give advice on other ways to save water and money. If you’re interested in having a free water-use evaluation at your home or business, please contact the Water Conservation Department at (415) 945-1523.
If you’re interested in buying an efficient showerhead on your own, here is a website detailing some extensive efficient showerhead testing. Note: I am providing this link as a courtesy and do not ensure the accuracy of any claims made by said website (I always wanted to go to law school).
And remember, with hard work and dedication you, too, can join the ranks of the showering elite.