Monday, April 20, 2015

Save Twice as Much and Shower with a Friend

EPA Tells Kids to Avoid Baths and Asks them to Check Toilets for Leaks
Parents across America who struggle to keep their young rambunctious kids clean now have a new obstacle: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

As part of its effort to help save the planet from the dangers of taking too many baths, the EPA’s WaterSense program is trying to convince kids they should avoid bathtubs in favor of showers, which it says is a far more efficient use of water.

“To save even more water, keep your shower under five minutes long—try timing yourself with a clock next time you hop in!” the “WaterSense for Kids” website says.

In addition to convincing kids to stay away from the tub, the EPA’s website instructs children to be careful not to give plants or the yard too much water, to ask parents to use car washes that recycle used water, and to avoid using hoses whenever possible. The EPA even suggests kids conduct experiments with parents to test toilets for leaks.

When kids aren’t busy timing their showers to ensure they remain as unclean as possible and training to be future plumbers, they can “test” their “water sense” by playing EPA’s Pac-Man-inspired online game starring the “water-efficiency hero,” Flo. The goal of the game is to move Flo, a cartoon water drop, “through water pipes and answer water-efficiency questions while avoiding water-wasting monsters.”
I console myself with the thought that kids probably aren't surfing off to the EPA's website to find instructions on how to get clean. At best, one or two kids in 10,000 will stumble onto it in the course of a some sort of homework assignment or looking for shower porn.

The math behind the advice is only mildy fishy:
Q: What uses more water – a 10-minute shower or a full bath? – Sam Vargas, Lancaster

A: The answer depends on the size of the tub, the depth of the water and the efficiency of the showerhead. But usually, the shower will use less.

Most people use about 30 gallons of water for a bath, according to industry estimates. When filled to capacity (just below the overflow), a standard bathtub holds 42 gallons, but some of that water will be displaced when you get into the tub. So, the tub is rarely filled to capacity before taking a bath.
I doubt that most children's baths are anywhere near that full.
A low-flow showerhead uses about two gallons a minute, or 20 gallons for a 10-minute shower. A standard showerhead uses 2.5 gallons a minute, or 25 gallons for 10 minutes. Either way, the shower saves water – as long as you don’t go past 10 minutes. The shorter the shower, the greater the savings.
So, if you bath with a friend, you can get sorta clean for 15 gallons per person, and if you shower with a friend, you can get clean for 10 gallons. Equivalent savings of about two flushes from a standard toilet, or 3-4 flushes from the new modern "flush twice or else" toilet.

I would sincerely hope that before it went out proselytizing America's youth, they would instigate these practices agency wide, with videos in the bathrooms of all employees, and stern punishments for those without low flow showers, regular toilets, and for taking more than the allotted 5 minutes of cleaning in the morning.

Wombat-socho at the Other McCain snuck in late Sunday Night with "Late Night Reprise With Rule 5."


  1. Then add on to the saving a Navy Shower. That will save about 15 gallons of of the 20 gallons of water when done correctly.

  2. That is if you do not have a friend to shower with.