In spring of 2010, UW-L Facilities Planning & Management and the Office of Residence Life partnered with students to choose a low flow showerhead to replace nearly 400 higher flow showerheads in all UW-L residence halls.
Previously, high flow showerheads were used to prevent the showerheads from clogging with sediment. To ensure that the replacement would be popular with students and maintenance staff, five different models of low-flow showerheads were purchased and installed in four different shower rooms. Maintenance staff verified the models that were durable and did not clog. Students were then surveyed to determine favorite model, frequency and duration of showers to determine the volume of water used annually showering.
Of the students surveyed, 76% said they preferred a low-flow model over the original showerheads. Another 16% said that even though they preferred the original model, they would like low-flow showerheads installed. Student Senate approved funding this project through Green Fund. Green Fund is money from student segregated fees, set aside for sustainable projects.
From our data collected, conservative estimates project a savings of over 14 million gallons of water per year, or about 5,280 gallons per resident. Cost savings annually from water, water softening and associated heating and sewer costs total approximately $147,000 per academic year.