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How intelligent do you want your shower to be?

I admit it. I’m a shower hog. That blissful experience, repeated daily, of warm water splashing on my naked body…. so how much would I like automation to intrude on this ‘sacred space’?

Firstly there was the little shower timer you stuck to the glass. The idea was to punch in on it as you enter, and turn off the tap when it beeps that your time is up. I used it for a week. Then there were the complex but obviously good systems that recycled the cold water in the pipes that ordinarily went down the drain. Unfortunately virtually impossible to retrofit to a  house.

Recently I saw a Swedish designer create a fully recycling shower that collected the water in the base, filtered out the obvious body detritis, and reheated it as it sent it back up to come out once again. Excellent idea for the serious water conservationist but many thousands of dollars to install.

And of course there are the little valves we are told to insert before the shower head to reduce flow. When I looked at these at our local hardware supply the salesman said offhandedly. “Yeah, it’s got water saving in it but don’t worry.. I’ll show you how to get it out.”

So.. I admit to a ‘hierarchy of needs’ as Maslow calls it.. but my hierarchy  relates to water, and as our tank slowly empties, I do think about conserving water.. but so far, as long as I have money in the bank, I tend to shower long and think short. As the warm water trickles down my forehead my mind takes sanctuary in ‘Well, if we run out, I’ll just buy some more!”

Now I see a new device on IndieGoGo. It’s EVA, the world’s first smart shower, and since I checked it yesterday it’s added another tewn thousand dollars to its funding goal of $50,000. It’s a little box that you attach to the p[ipe out of your shower wall, fitting in between the pipe and your shower rose or hose. It shuts off your water flow once your desired temperature is reached making sure no water is wasted before you get in. It has a sensor system that adjusts the water flow based on my shower behavior and needs your needs. And it notifies you when you are taking an extended shower. At around $100 it seems a pretty good deal IF that’s what you want.. a smart shower.

Still, none of these little helpers address the big need; to give me a shower without chlorine. Chlorine is a carcinogenic gas. It’s forced into water and kept in solution because it has nowhere else to go inside a pipeline. But heat the water then spray it in an enclosed space.. and suddenly I’m in a gas chamber. My beautiful shower experience is like unprotected sex; very nice but with potential life changing consequences. So of all the enhancements I could have in my shower, I’m unashamedly turning my back on the water savers and going for the water cleaner – a simple water filter that – like Eva, the smart shower controller, fits between the in-pipe and my shower rose or hose, and absolutely changes my experience. No more sniffles, no more strange skin complaints, no more bleary eyes, no more chlorine inhalation!

You see, what I learned was huge. I don’t just ingest chlorine by drinking chlorinated water. I also ingest it (under the right conditions, like a shower recess) – through my lungs plus almost two square metres of skin! having tested it with my family we now sell the shower filter because I believe in it more than all the ‘smart’ shower systems I’ve seen so far. and unlike Eva, I don’t need my I_Phone to tell me how to shower.

 

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

By IAN HAMILTON

On Key

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