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Old 07-04-2015, 12:40 PM   #1
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Fresh water usage

Here in St. Lucia we are currently subject to water rationing. Why? Well the recently constructed dam has silted up and now only has 50% of its original capacity. Add to this that it's the rainy season, but hasn't rained for some time and you get the idea.

Anyway, the water authority pressures up the main for around 6 hours every five days. We fill our two "emergency" water tanks and do laundry etc. Somehow conserving water when on the boat comes more naturally than doing so in my home. Also, on the boat I can run the watermaker, whereas, when the house tanks are dry they stay dry until the water gods smile again.

I have taken to placing a 5 gallon plastic bucket below the shower head and somewhat inelegantly leaning over it when showering. The water thus collected is used for toilet flushing. From this I have drawn two not very startling conclusions: 1. A regular shower uses very roughly 3 gallons of water and 2. A significant portion of this goes down the drain while I'm standing away from the spray doing the soap and shampoo thing. Much less water would be wasted if, once temperature and flow rate have been set, the on/off function could be controlled by a foot pedal. Spring loaded faucets are something of a PITA, but would reduce consumption too.

Is such a foot-pedal control available?

What strategies do forum members use to conserve water?
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Old 07-04-2015, 12:55 PM   #2
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Our shower heads have on/off switches on the telephone type handle.
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Old 07-04-2015, 01:02 PM   #3
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Click image for larger version

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This works for us.
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Old 07-04-2015, 01:11 PM   #4
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Less then $10

Trickles slightly to keep water warm while you soap.


Shower Saver Trickle Valve

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Old 07-04-2015, 01:34 PM   #5
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We have a Navy-type shower head on our boat. It's handheld on the end of a metal flex hose and has a spring-loaded button that you have to hold down to get water.
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Old 07-04-2015, 03:50 PM   #6
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Mike
We lived through the 2010 drought in St. Lucia and while we are missing this portion of the 2015, we will be back in January.

Although we have a water maker we do a couple of things. Our shower is a handheld with an on and off switch so we can stop the flow as needed. More importantly I keep a small bucket in the shower (Krogen's have a small shelf seat in the shower) and when I am adjusting temperature or lathering up I collect the water in the bucket. I usually grab at least a gallon a day, sometimes more this way. The water is used for shaving the next morning, dish washing and for me coffee making.

I believe Johnson's or if not Johnson's, Island Water World has the shower head with the shut off.

Best of luck.
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Old 07-04-2015, 06:15 PM   #7
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You can buy a shower head with a shut off in Walmart.
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Old 07-04-2015, 06:23 PM   #8
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Plus you have the benefit of the scenery while shopping.
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Old 07-04-2015, 06:27 PM   #9
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You can buy a shower head with a shut off in Walmart.
Another source can be an RV supply store.
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Old 07-05-2015, 07:25 AM   #10
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A washing station at a hospital will use a knee operated valve , might be converted into a step on.

Many of the new high end kitchen faucets are "touch" operated , the brain nis a small mbatterey.

The mfg repair section of the faucet might show if you could "steal " the guts for your shower.
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Old 07-05-2015, 07:50 AM   #11
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Push button interupting valve control from a water fountain or commercial public style faucet can be plumbed inline after the main mixer anywhere you like. Should do the trick and look clean when done.

Or

Convince your partner that for water conservation AND saftey (since such high percentage of accidents happen in the home)...
Shower in pairs.
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:22 AM   #12
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A timely thread for us in the south harbor of Petersburg, AK as the main water line broke recently and it could be weeks before it is fixed. One thing we have done to conserve water is that we have installed a valve that converts our Vacuflush to saltwater. We have used this over the past 10 years whenever we are not at dock with and have not had any problems. We switch it back to freshwater when we are in port. At the end of the season we flush a gallon of vinegar through the system.
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:27 AM   #13
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Convince your partner that for water conservation AND saftey (since such high percentage of accidents happen in the home)...
Shower in pairs.
Wifey B: We do that....yes....for safety and conservation....sure. Just not sure it conserves water. Sometimes those showers are quite lengthy.

Now don't get me wrong....since 90% of our showers are together, we don't always take a very long time in the shower. Sometimes we actually do hurry.
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Old 07-05-2015, 12:48 PM   #14
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Our shower has the head with a on / off button and we can save a considerable amount of water. I think I waste more water doing dishes, I've found a shutoff that takes the place of the aerator but haven't determined if the threads match my galley fixture.


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Old 07-05-2015, 02:02 PM   #15
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Our shower has the head with a on / off button and we can save a considerable amount of water. I think I waste more water doing dishes, I've found a shutoff that takes the place of the aerator but haven't determined if the threads match my galley fixture.

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For dish rinsing, just have a second sink of clear water (or large container) and dip the soapy clean dishes in that before racking. That's what they do with glasses in bars when they wash by hand..
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Old 07-05-2015, 07:07 PM   #16
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Got one of these in the RV. It is a strong aerator that sends the water out with more force. That means running the water less time to rinse Probably flows the same rate, but with more intensity. It works, or at least I think it does.

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Old 07-06-2015, 07:11 AM   #17
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Wifey B: We do that....yes....for safety and conservation....sure. Just not sure it conserves water. Sometimes those showers are quite lengthy.

Now don't get me wrong....since 90% of our showers are together, we don't always take a very long time in the shower. Sometimes we actually do hurry.
You guys are a hoot!!

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Old 07-06-2015, 09:10 AM   #18
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I see three things as most helpful. First a nozzle on the shower so that the amount of water required is greatly reduced. Second, sharing of showers does have conservation benefits. Third, I just see a watermaker as essential. Perhaps extreme conservation comes much easier for you than it would for us. But between showers, laundry, and dishes, we consider the majority of our usage essential and don't want to compromise much. Just to us a lack of fresh water would take a very significant toll on a quality lifestyle.

The fact is you can probably produce your own water cheaper than it can be produced locally and definitely for less than you'd have to pay. Also, it is actually helping the others locally as you're not draining their precious supply.

I'm not certain how much you're at home vs. on the boat, nor how close your home is to your boat, but perhaps you defer some of the water usage heavy tasks to the boat. Also, at your home, is the drilling of a well or perhaps the building of catch towers or basins an option? Even something that won't supply your entire needs but will reduce your requirements could be worth it.
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:16 AM   #19
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Third, I just see a watermaker as essential.

When in dock we run ours 12 hours a day and it seems to keep up for the most part.
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Old 07-06-2015, 12:08 PM   #20
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Lots of food for thought here, the little valve on the chrome shower head has a strong appeal. Thanks all.
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