An award winning innovation for the bathroom, a new kind of shower monitor, can help cut the water and gas or electricity bills of an average family by up to 30%, according to Watersave Australia .
The Waitek Shower Monitor, distributed by Watersave Australia, monitors the amount of water family members use as they shower. GreenPlumbers, an industry group promoting more environmentally friendly plumbing, has chosen the shower monitor as its innovative product of the year.
The innovative product of the year award was presented to Waitek at the 2006 GreenPlumbers gala dinner in Melbourne on November 11. Watersave is the Australian distributor of the shower monitors, which alert family members when they are using too much water.
The shower monitors can cut showering costs by up to 30%. Water supply authorities estimate that a person showering for eight minutes uses about 120 litres. So, a person showering for 12 minutes can use about 180 litres.
By reducing his or her shower time from 12 to 8 minutes, a person can save 60 litres. A family of four, a husband and wife with two teenage children, can save about 240 litres a day. A family with a water bill of $1,000 a year can save $300 simply by monitoring their showers and taking shorter showers, and they can also save more on gas or electricity by taking shorter showers.
The monitor is installed in the shower recess and enables a person to monitor water usage while showering. When the person turns the shower on, the monitor starts and its display panel shows the present time and water temperature, and a bar graph indicating the duration of the shower.
As a shower progresses, the graph diminish until it disappears. Then, a beeper alerts the person showering that water is being wasted. A few minutes after the shower is turned off, the monitor resets itself ready for the next person to shower.
The only way to turn off the beeper is to turn off the shower. If the shower is turned back on within an adjustable delay time, the beeper comes back on. Sensors and a microchip enable the shower monitor, powered by a long-life lithium battery, to measure flow and temperature, and calculate hot water usage.