To maximize showering efficiency make sure that you have installed a low-flow showerhead in all of your bathrooms. All showerheads manufactured in the U.S. must restrict flow to 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) or less. Some models are designed to use even less water.
If you aren’t sure about the flow rate of your showerhead you can test it using a 5 gallon bucket and a wrist watch or clock. Turn the shower on full blast (hot and cold). Put the 5 gallon bucket under the shower and capture all of the flow at the same time you start keeping time. Fill the bucket for exactly 2 minutes. If your showerhead uses 2.5 gpm or less, the bucket will not overflow during the 2 minute test. If the bucket overflows during the 2 minute test, you do not have a low-flow showerhead.
During a drought emergency you could be asked to reduce your water use substantially. While shower water usage is typically less than toilet and clothes washer usage, it is an area where water reductions can be made. Here are some tips for maximizing shower use efficiency.
- Take shorter showers. A typical shower lasts about 8 minutes and uses about 17 gallons. An efficient shower lasts 3 or 4 minutes and uses 7.5 gallons. Shower timers are available if you need a reminder.
- Turn off the water while soaping up or shampooing.
- Keep a bucket in the shower to collect excess water. You can use this water to irrigate your plants.
- Check for and repair leaks in the tub diverter valve.