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Saving Water – The Bath V’s Shower Debate

Saving Water

Saving water is important. Some people do it for environmental reasons, whilst others do it in an attempt to save cash. But does it takes less water to take a shower or have a bath?

How Much Water Do We Use?

Londoners use an average of 165 litres of water every day, which is higher than the national average of 150 litres and about one-third higher than other European cities.

These must be depressing figures, but you don’t panic. By educating yourself about conserving water in simple ways, you can breathe easy and perhaps even use a hose or sprinkler to water your garden after all!

A Shower Or A Bath?

An average bath requires 100 to 200 litres of water. The exact amount depends on your showerhead and whether it has a flow restrictor in it. It is, of course, also dependant on how long you shower for. The average shower of four minutes with an old showerhead uses 80 litres of water. But with a low-flow showerhead, only 40 litres of water is used.

If your house was constructed before 1992, chances are your showerheads force out about 20 litres of water per minute. Multiply this by the number of minutes you are in the shower and the litres add up fast!

If you’d like to test the amount of water wasted yourself, here’s an experiment you could try at home. Put the plug in the bath next time you take a shower (but not a stand-alone shower as you might spill over the lower shower wall). After you’ve showered, examine how much the bath fills up. If there is less water than you would usually have in a bath, then you will probably save money by taking a shower instead.

Other Advantages Of Taking A Bath

A good, long soak in a bath can renew your spirit. Hydrotherapy, which loosely translated means ‘rejuvenation by water’, enables you to revitalise yourself. Some modern systems even contain air jets that have been strategically placed to target the body’s pressure points, relieving tension and stress. Bathers can also enjoy the benefit of chromotherapy, which uses coloured light in much the same way aromatherapy uses scent to stimulate different psychological and physical responses.

Bath time for a young family can be an important playtime and social occasion to be shared with other family members. Some people also find a bath a calming way to relax. Herbs and essential oils soothe aching muscles, tense nerves and skin irritations. They also soften the skin and can help your complexion. Saving water might be important to you, but you should consider exactly what joy a bath can bring.

What Professionals Say

If you want to conserve water, The Environment Agency recommends short showers and to avoid baths. Based on its latest research, it proclaims that a five-minute shower uses about a third of the water of a bath and can save 50 litres every time.

The time taken to take a shower is not the sole variable though. As previously mentioned, water consumed is also dependent on the type of shower you use. Power showers can use more water than a bath in less than five minutes. Low-flow showerheads deliver ten litres of water or less per minute and are relatively inexpensive. Older showerheads use 20 to 30 litres of water per minute.

Saving Money When You Bathe

If you still believe that a shower cannot equal the gratification of a bath, then it is recommended to partially fill your bath in order to use less water.

That option might seem better if you consider the plight of sailors aboard ships. Due to lack of fresh water aboard ships, sailors were taught to get wet, turn off the water, soap and scrub, and then briefly turn the water on to rinse!

Just remember, saving water is possible, even if you do enjoy a bath. Check out our eco-living section for further inspiration.

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