April showers bring May flowers, according to a familiar wives’ tale. In peninsular Florida, where much of the state is in a moderate to severe drought, April proves to be one of the driest months of the year and water conservation is a priority. Florida’s Public Service Commission (PSC) oversees more than 160 of the state’s water and wastewater companies and provides water conservation tips to residents statewide.
“Water conservation is becoming an even greater concern for many Floridians,” said PSC Chairman Matthew M. Carter II. “An easy, inexpensive way to lower your water use is to install a low flow shower head. You will conserve water, and also save energy, without a noticeable difference in water flow.”
Older shower heads can use more than 25 gallons of water for a five-minute shower, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Low flow shower heads significantly reduces the amount of water and energy used without impacting the flow of water. Using less water means using less energy to pump water into the house and heat it.
A shower head’s “flow rate” is measured in gallons per minute (gpm). In 1992, the federal government required all new shower heads to have a flow rate at or below 2.5 gallons per minute. Replacing pre-1992 shower heads will provide water and energy savings. For even more savings, look for shower heads which use as little as half a gallon a minute.
To test how much water your shower uses, place a bucket marked in gallon increments under the shower head and turn on the shower at the normal water pressure. If it takes less than 20 seconds for water to reach the one gallon mark, a low-flow shower head will probably save you water and energy.
Other ways to lower your water usage are to turn down the valve on your shower head, if there is one, and use a shower timer to make everyone in the household more aware of water consumption. For more information, go to the EPA’s WaterSense Web site at: http://www.epa.gov/WaterSense/water/simple.htm. The PSC also offers conservation tips in its brochures Drop By Drop and ConserveYour World, found at: Publications/ConsumerBrochures .
The PSC is committed to making sure that Florida's consumers receive their electric, natural gas, telephone, water, and wastewater services in a safe, affordable, and reliable manner. The PSC exercises regulatory authority over utilities in the areas of rate base/economic regulation; competitive market oversight; and monitoring of safety, reliability, and service.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.