The other day I received the Sava Spa Showerhead, a low-flow product from Niagara Conservation in the mail. I was expecting a tiny device, but as you can see in the image below, it was much larger than the shower head previously installed in my bathroom (see image below). In fact, as I walked into the bathroom at 6:15 the morning after installing the new device (which took less than 2 minutes), my wife said “I love this new shower head.” For some time we had been disappointed with the shower head in our bathroom. We tried others that didn’t work given the relatively tight confines of the enclosure.
Niagara Conservation offers a wide range of water savings products, including numerous shower heads, high-efficiency toilets, aerators (for sinks), and attachments for garden hoses. The company also offers energy saving devices like light bulbs and lighting controls and various weatherization products. For those who are just getting started and need a wide range of conservation items, Niagara they sell a “Green House Water EcoKit [which] combines several of our top energy-conserving and water-saving products” as well as an Energy EcoKit.
Available at ItsEasyBeingGreen.com for $29.95 – Niagara Conservation’s retail outlet – the Sava Spa Showerhead has a chrome finish, giving it a clean look. However, when I first picked up the shower head, I was surprised by its lack of heft, making me wonder if it was plastic underneath. The weight savings is nice for shipping, but the durability remains a question. Niagara Conservation has seemingly addressed this by constructing the device out of a corrosion-resistant, high impact thermoplastic. According to the brochure, the Sava Spa Showerhead comes in two efficiency ratings (1.5 Gallons Per Minute – GPM – and 1.75 GPM). I tested out the latter. The shower head has a 4.4” wide diameter head with 39 spray jets. In addition to the numerous spray jets, there is a swivel adjustment, allowing for different users to easily change the height and direction of the spray; this is particularly important for those of vastly different heights.
The 39 spray jets provide much wider coverage than our old one. When I stepped into the shower for the first time I noticed a slightly decreased pressure in the flow. The number of jets in our old shower head (42) slightly outnumbered Niagara’s, but the wider coverage area was worth the tradeoff in the reduced number of jets. Our previous shower head had a much higher GPM rating, 2.5 GPM. According to a company press release, “Niagara’s Sava low-flow showerheads can help save up to 8,213 gallons of water per year, up to $173 off utility bills.” Savings on utility are an indirect benefit since less water needs to be heated for low flow shower heads.
As a follow up, I asked my wife her impressions a few days later and she said, “I still like it.” One issue we both noticed though is that rinsing a razor in the shower head’s stream is a bit more challenging than before. Despite the potential for greater water consumption, neither of us shave standing in front of the sink. While it might make more sense for men to shave out of the shower, turning off the water while shaving makes up for some of the excess use.
Although I do not directly pay for water and therefore do not see a water bill (it is part of the homeowner’s association fees), reducing water usage has several benefits in the arid west beyond my water bill. Denver Water has instituted a “Use Only What You Need Campaign” that pushes conservation.