We read and hear a lot about how we need to go green, save more water and sacrifice comfort – but what if you could do the first two without the third? This ingenious gadget adds air into the middle of water drops right inside an existing shower head, churning the spray so it aerates naturally. As a result, users have the feeling of using a full-power shower while wasting a third less water – space is simply displaced in the stream and replaced with air.
Low flow designs involve compromise as do most other water-saving shower heads. This innovative idea is projected to be able to save tens of thousands of liters of water per year per household – or, say, enough water to fill 45,000 Olympic swimming pools were everyone in Australia to begin using one. Just imagine the environmental impact in terms of water saved on a global scale
The aeration process by CSIRO Manufacturing Materials Technology, while complicated to develop, is remarkably easy and cheap to implement in its final form – water is essentially sucked out of the stream, mixed with air at differential pressures, and the air bubbles then remain inside water droplets as they pass out into your shower. So far, no one seems to be able to perceive any difference – you can just add this filter to your shower and forget about it, until you see the savings on your next water bill anyway.
Dr Jie Wu, a fluids specialist at CSIRO, says the Oxijet nozzle developed by New Zealand company Felton in collaboration with CSIRO, feels just as wet and strong as a full flow shower, but uses much less water. The device, based on a CSIRO laboratory concept of using a novel aeration insert, also differs from traditional ‘low flow’ devices.
“Traditional flow restrictors reduce flow and pressure, whereas Oxijet uses the flow energy to draw air into the water stream, making the water droplets hollow,” Dr Wu said.
“This expands the volume of the shower stream, meaning you can save the same amount of water, while still enjoying your shower.”