Water Conservation: Shower or Bath?

Ahh, the age-old question: shower or bath? Do you prefer to stand and saunter, gleefully stretching, dancing and bathing to your heart’s desire in the warmth of the flowing water? Or do you take delight in the art of the bath, accompanied only by a good book, glass of red, your favourite relaxation playlist and a lovely smelling bath bomb?

Whatever your bathing preference, one thing remains true: your liquid bathing ritual is using more water than you think. But which is better or worse, in terms of water conservation efforts? This month, we’ll offer some suggestions to help you cut your water bill while still enjoying your creature comforts.

Routines Vary

Because almost all of us can identify that one family member, roommate or significant other who just can’t seem to take anything less than an hour-long bath or shower, the first thing we need to realise about the shower versus bath argument is that every person – and scenario – is different than the next.

Some of the most common factors that make it difficult to determine which form of bathing uses more or less water is the standard average tub size, how much water you actually use when you’re in the bathtub, the length of your average shower, which type of shower head you’re using, and the intensity of water pressure your home may have.

Breaking Down the Math 

Because homeowners typically want to reduce utility bills while also paying attention to their water conservation efforts, it’s no wonder why this question has come up for debate time and time again.

According to studies, the average bathtub holds approximately 132.5 litres of water. Assuming you leave enough room to actually get in and bathe in your tub, however, we can assume the average bath actually uses about 94.6 litres of water. Alternately, the average shower head disburses approximately 9.5 litres of water per minute. Assuming your average shower takes less than 10 minutes, you will save more water by taking a shower than taking a bath. If, however, you are a notorious fan of lengthy showers, much to the dismay of anyone you may or may not share a bathroom with, you may actually save more water by taking a bath.

Water Conservation & Money-Saving Solutions

According to the Australian Government’s current estimates on water efficiency, water-efficient products like appliances and fixtures could save the average family $175 per year or more, and $2 billion in total by 2030. Imagine how many bath bombs you could buy with that! According to their research, 65% of that cost savings would come from avoided water heating due to reduced electricity and gas costs, while 35% would come from reduced water bills.

The biggest water waste areas in the home are typically your washing machine, taking showers, and taps and toilets, not to mention any leaky faucets or faulty pipes that may be adding to your water bill without you even knowing.

It’s recommended to upgrade your home with water-efficient appliances and fixtures like low-flow shower heads, which cut water usage by 40%, as well as dishwashers, washing machines, water-saving toilets, taps and more. Keep an eye on the star-based Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme to track the water ratings of your home’s appliances.

In their latest study on shower head flow rates, a family of 4 who replaces their current shower head that flows at 15 litres per minute with a 4-star rated shower head that flows at 6 litres per minute will save 105,000 litres of water and $315 per year on water bills.

So, what to do now? Remember to schedule a Water Safety Audit around your Gold Coast home with one of our qualified plumbers to ensure there are no surprise leaks, water waste opportunities or poor pressure issues, and we look forward to hearing from you.

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