The Bricor Hand-Held Showerhead only uses 4.2 litres (1.11 gallons) per minute
I've never needed a reason to conserve water. Simply knowing that half of the world’s population lives without easy access to it is enough to make me grateful for my easy life.
Other than gratitude, the reasons to conserve water are excellent:
- Carbon Dioxide: Saving 1000 litres (one cubic metre) of water averts the emission of 1.75 kg of carbon dioxide (source).
- Cost: Water costs me about $2.64 per 1000 litres to deliver and treat.
- Cost Again: Water is very expensive to heat.
- Contamination: When I use water in my house, it returns to the North Saskatchewan river more contaminated than if I had left it there.
- Water Security: Our glaciers are melting. We may one day be water insecure, so having infrastructure in place to reduce its use is a good thing.
Toilets account for roughly 1/3 of our water use. In the Mill Creek Net Zero Home we installed dual-flush toilets.
Our Toto Dual-Max toilets “get the job done” while keeping water use to a minimum.
We decided on Toto Aquia Dual-Max toilets because they reportedly worked well, and our plumbing supply company stocked them. So far, so good.
These types of toilets should be the only ones anyone puts in, but outrageously enough you can still buy 13 litre flush toilets in Canada. Crazy.
Showers and baths use up another 1/3 of a household’s water. We scoured the internet for the ultimate low-flow showerhead, and decided on Bricor. We phoned up Bricor directly and ordered a few of their hand-held showerheads (official name: the B110CH-HH Chrome-Finish Hand-Held Showerhead).
We are very happy with the comfortable showers that the Bricor units provide. While there is slightly less heat than a wasteful showerhead (I only noticed it the first shower after we switched), the shower is comfortable and warm, with good water pressure.
Seeing is believing, so I put up a couple of short videos to demonstrate the nice spray from these showerheads.
We paid about $100 per showerhead (custom built for our water pressure of 60 PSI and delivered from the States, and Bricor is a small company). That is a lot of money, but at a saving of 1.5 litres per minute versus the next best shower heads (the Bricor model uses 4.2 litres/minute vs. 5.7 litres/minute), they will pay themselves off quickly. Think 4 people (once our boys are teenagers) each taking a 5 minute shower every day…30 litres of hot water saved per day….11,000 litres saved per year…yeah $100 for a shower head is worth it.
We also use a front-loading washing machine and of course aerators on our faucets. Plus, once we install our Brac grey water system that will capture our shower water for flushing toilets with, our use will be at an absolute minimum.
Every time I take a shower in this house I feel good about it. And that makes it worth the minimal extra effort and expense to treat one of our most precious resources with the respect that it deserves.