So, what’s your gpm?  GPM?  Gallons Per Minute!  How many gallons per minute does your shower head spit out?  If you don’t know, you might want to find out.  It’s likely that it’s 2.5 gallons per minute or more.  That’s what our shower heads were rated at, so our One Small Change for May is to replace our shower heads with low-flow versions, which use only 1.5 gpm.  I have been wanting to do this since we moved in, but I really started focusing on it during the months of February and March, when Craig was gone every week for work, and our water usage dropped substantially (according to our meter readings on our water bill).  Hubby loves his 10 minute morning showers.

So, some simple math here.  If Craig takes a 10 minute shower every day, and our new shower heads save us 1 gallon per minute, that’s 10 gallons a day, or 3,650 gallons per year.  I probably take a 10 minute shower every other day, so that’s another 1,825 gallons saved.  So total, we’re looking at saving approximately 5,475 gallons of water per year.  Based on our water bill, we pay approximately $0.72 per gallon (including the sewer fee, which is based off of how much water you use), so switching our shower heads will save us $39.15 per year. We paid $14 and $20 for our two new low-flow shower heads, so our total cost is $34. This first year, we’ll come out $5 ahead in our pockets, not to mention the value of conservation itself, and of teaching these concepts to our children.  It should be noted here that we are on the low end of the spectrum of water usage, averaging 400 cubic feet of water per month.  According to Central Arkansas Water, the average family of four uses 800 cubic feet of water per month!  So, the average family would stand to save a lot more money by installing low flow shower heads than we will.

Many people say that low flow shower heads do not provide the same quality of water pressure as regular shower heads.  So, here are a couple videos so you can see for yourself:

Above is our old 2.5gpm shower head.

Above is Craig’s new 1.5 gpm shower head.

As you can see, the spray style is completely different on these two shower heads, and when I first saw the videos, I was a little concerned that Craig would not like the new style of spray.  He said that he actually prefers it, as it provides MORE water pressure than the old shower head.

Another statement that I hear about low flow shower heads is that people are concerned about the installation process.  So, here’s a video of Craig installing the new shower head, one handed while holding the camera in the other hand, in less than a minute and fifteen seconds.

Low flow shower heads come in many different styles, ranging from the basic model that Craig installed which you can likely purchase at your local home improvement store, to higher priced heads with massage settings, “rainstorm” spray, and whatever else you might require.  I have a somewhat fancier low flow shower head on order from Amazon, so we’ll post video of it as soon as it gets here.