A shower is a magical place where people would often think and drown their emotions under the perfect sprinkle of water. It is commonly placed indoors, could have adjustments for spray pressure, temperature, and showerhead nozzle. It does also have drainage just located down on the floor. In addition, showers can be easily installed anywhere and could even have a plastic shower curtain or a glass door.
Showers also differ depending on their complexity; the most common showers have nozzles aiming directly down to the user, while other showers have showerheads connected to a hose so that the user could aim the water directly to where they desire.
In Western culture, it is very common to shower because it is more efficient than a bathtub. Moreover, showering is also a good practice to maintain one’s hygiene. Thus it is advisable to take a shower once in a while.
On average, a person showering could use 80 liters of water, while a person taking a bath could use 150 liters of water. This makes showering thriftier than taking a bath.
To know more about showers and how it consumes water, here are some of the things you need to know and steps you need to check.
Showers came from the waterfalls; originally, they aren’t made by man or installed indoor. Long-time ago, people would take a bath under the falling waters of waterfalls. Although they have traditional basins, they would often clean themselves down there because the said basins require manual transport of clean and wastewaters, and thus makes the falls more convenient.
Over time, people then began to follow the said phenomena by pouring themselves jugs of cold water after washing.
Evidence of that is how the Mesopotamians and Egyptians take a bath. These people then have shower rooms installed inside their homes where the servants initially carry and fill the water before bathing them privately.
And unlike the Mesopotamians and Egyptians, the Greeks are the first people to use aqueducts and sewage systems in their showers; this pumps the water in and out of the large communal showers and is commonly used by rich people. Discovered in Pergamum, this has depictions similar to what people use today, including bars to hang up clothes.
The Romans also have their famous bathhouses that can be found all over the Mediterranean. They also practice taking showers every day or multiple times a week. Unfortunately, after the fall of the Roman Empire, their shower system also fell out of use.
The shower operates by pumping up the water to its reservoir, just above the user's head, and a chain would then be pulled to release the water. Unfortunately, the elites were not commended because the system recycles the water, thus making the user take a bath in dirty water.
But in 1810, this was improved by an unknown inventor. The English Regency shower was the new design created; it is originally 10 feet tall with several metal pipes that look like bamboos and a nozzle that evenly distributes water around the user's shoulder. And unlike before, the water is not recycled, and it came from the ground.
After few decades, this was upgraded by reinventing the plumbing for connection to a running water source and by adding adjustable sprayers for various water flows. Through this, the showers people are using now were slowly approximated.
The French army also installed modern showers in their barracks for economic hygiene measures as demanded by François Merry Delabost. He is an inventor and a French doctor. They had previously replaced the individual baths with mandatory communal showers for the prisoners because he believes that it is more economical and hygienic.
The eight showers installed in the precinct have water heated by the steam engine and could be used simultaneously by eight prisoners. In addition, these showers are less time and water-consuming because eight concurrent showers could only take 5 mins and could only use 20 liters of water.
This system was then adopted by other armies, prisons in other jurisdictions, and boarding schools before installing it in public bathhouses.
Stall showers and showers over a bathtub are what they commonly call domestic showers. Both can be easily installed in a wet room, in which it doesn’t have a contained area for the shower, or in a dedicated room, which it doesn’t require containment for the spray of the water. Also, these showers don’t have any complicated adjustments because they commonly have a single shower head located at its very top.
Stall showers are spaces dedicated only for the shower. They are usually enclosed with a door or a curtain to contain the spray of the water. On the other hand, showers over a bathtub save more space because they can be used for showering and bathing. Similar to stall showers, showers over a bathtub do have enclosures like glass doors and curtains.
Unlike domestic showers, public showers are created for quite a several users. These are often provided by public swimming pools, famous beaches, and even in the field for military forces.
Since the military is vulnerable to dangerous residues coming from modern weapons, it is better to have a place to wash away chemicals like deadly biological agents, caustic chemicals, and radioactive materials. The said materials could be lethal to anyone who made contact with, thus washing them immediately is highly recommended.
Public showers can also be in the form of individual stalls or communal rooms for a shower. Some do also have changing rooms for different genders. Communal shower rooms use large spaces with several showerheads installed on the walls or the posts, while individual stalls use curtains or doors for separation.
A wet room is a space where the shower isn’t separated from the rest of the bathroom. It has even flooring and doesn’t have any enclosures, unlike the domestic and public showers. Moreover, the water from the rain falls on the floor and into the drainage.
Use and Ecology
During the 20th century, personal hygiene became the primary concern of the people. And since showers could only use less water, their fame increased during that time.
For nearly 17% of residential water, showering is one of the lead ways to use water in every home. An average American could use up to 17.2 gallons of water and could take a shower for 8.2 minutes. Annually, the shower uses 1.2 trillion gallons of water.
Due to this, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommended altering shower heads so that they could only use less than 2.0 gallons of water per minute. However, many disagree because they believe that reducing the water flow would only longer the shower time. Others find alternatives like using extra high pressure for the mist flow and build-in sensors and valves to shut off the water while the user is not actively using the shower.
The shower could also indicate a person's social position; white-collared workers shower every morning before work while blue-collared workers take it in the evening after work.
Although some people could shower more than once per day, it is still not advisable to frequently shower because it could dry and irritate the skin. It is recommended that a person only take showers once a day because too much cleanliness could remove the beneficial bacteria, create small cracks to the skin that could lead to infections, cause eczema, and trigger allergies in young children.
Showering at least once a day could promote hygiene and cleanliness. This could also prevent one’s odor and frees a person from infections and diseases.
During the 19th century, experts had realized the benefits of bathing regularly to a person’s health. Some benefits include relaxation and could generally be therapeutic. Due to that, the people are then encouraged to at least take a shower daily.
Showering to Savings
The shower could consume up to 65.1 liters of water. It is said to be the thirds largest water use in an average home. Due to that, many tried to find alternatives to reduce their water consumption. And here are some of the tips you might want to check to lessen your water usage.
Shower Water Saving Tips
- Try to reduce your shower time. Please take a shower lesser than 5 minutes.
- If your shower happens to have an on and off switch, then better to use them while shampooing and soaping.
- If you’re waiting for your water to get warm, try to collect the cold water usually released by the shower and save it for the plants later.
Navy showering could also be a good method to reduce the water used. The process starts by rinsing the hair and body, turning off the water for soaping and shampooing, and resuming the water flow to rinse off the soap and shampoo. In addition, this method could decrease your shower time because it could only take less than 5 minutes.
Other Shower Information
To save more water, replacing your showerheads with a model that uses 2.5 GPM is not a good method. Better to buy a showerhead with a WaterSense label because this ensures that the product uses no more than 2.0 GPM and meets the EPA's water efficiency and performance criteria.
Thus products with the said label will surely be convenient, affordable, and environment-friendly.
Shower time does also affects water usage. If a person takes a shower greater than 20 minutes, they could use water twice as much as an average person does.
Many have also believed that reducing the water flow only causes the duration of the shower to be longer, but the experts have claimed that this is not true. Flow rates only have a little influence on the duration of a shower.
Also, it is recommended to use a shower timer to help in monitoring and reducing the time when showering.
According to the current national energy policy act (EPAct) standards, showerheads created from the U.S. should have 2.5 GPM as a maximum flow rate.
Long before 1980, showerheads have flow rates greater than 5 GPM, but this has been changed because it consumes a lot of water. Right now, the flow rates only range from 0.75 GPM to 2.5 GPM.
Although it is advisable, it is still difficult to find showerheads with less than 2.5 GPM flow rates.