This is the rate at which water comes out of your tap or shower head in litres per minute. To balance water and energy use with user comfort, EECA recommends that showers should be set to flow at anything below 9 litres per minute. However, modern shower heads can provide a great shower experience while only using 6 litres of water per minute or less. You get the feeling of a full-pressure shower with less water flow because modern shower heads pull air into the water stream instead of dropping flow and pressure.
How to measure flow rate in your shower:
Turn your shower on full and run it into a bucket for 5 seconds.
Measure the amount of water and multiply by 12 to find the flow rate in litres per minute.
If the flow rate exceeds 9 litres per minute, consider the following options to reduce the flow rate and make your shower more water efficient
What are your options?
To make your shower at home or in your club’s changing rooms as water efficient as possible, you have a number of options to do so, with varying costs. All of them will reduce the water used every time the shower is used - this will not only reduce the cost of metered water, but also considerably lower the cost of heating your hot water.
Fit flow restrictors on existing shower heads: aim for a flow of 6 to 9 litres per minute to maximise efficiency. While some shower heads will require a plumber to install these, they are generally a very cheap and effective way to lower the flow rate of your shower.
Look into installing a pressure-limiting valve to reduce flow of your overall plumbing system. This will affect all water outlets in your club or house, which may not always be desirable.
Upgrade shower controls to individual timed push buttons. Push button showers encourage faster showers and cannot be accidentally left on for long periods. This is particularly effective in larger clubs with many showers being used at once.
Replace shower heads with low flow commercial-grade shower units. These units effectively minimise hot water usage through the use of in-built flow limiters and timed push buttons, and are designed to withstand heavy use. Check the WELS label for the most efficient models.
For your personal home, install an efficient shower head like Methven’s Satin-Jet range. These are specifically designed to provide all the comfort of a high flow shower while minimising water and energy use.
If your water is metered, lowering the amount of water used in showers, translates to direct money savings. For instance, if you replace just one 12-litre per minute shower head with one that flows at 8 litres per minute, you can cut your water bill by up to $150 a year! But even if your water costs are included in your rates, you can reap financial benefits through water efficiency: the less water is used, the less water needs to be heated, thus reducing the cost of running your water heating system.