A showerhead trial completed by Denmark Agricultural College student Jane Thompson has resulted in a remarkable reduction in water use at the college.


With almost 40 showerheads on site over two dormitories and five separate residences, the trial showed that by switching to lower flow rate showerheads as well as dual flushing toilets, the college would save around 12,000 litres of water per day.


Certificate III in Agriculture student Jane Thompson said she initially undertook the project as part of the “Conservation” component of her course.


“The plan was to purchase some different water saving shower heads, have them installed in the dorms, and then survey students to find out what they thought was the best option,” Ms Thompson said.


With the support of the college, and after significant research about the latest showerhead technology, Ms Thompson decided to trial two different showerheads. One was a 4.5 litre a minute showerhead purchased from a local hardware store and the other a 7.5 litre a minute showerhead ordered from a supplier overseas.


“We were all surprised by the results,” said Ms Thompson. “The lower flow rate shower head was the popular choice amongst students because the water pressure felt better than the other one, while both were preferred than just having timed showers.”


Denmark Agricultural College Residential Manager Kelli Gillies said there had been a major cultural shift around water use since the installation of sub-meters by Water Corporation for each of the dormitories around two years ago.


“From the moment we were able to show the students exactly how much water they were using, they have been looking for ways to save water and make a real difference,” said Ms Gillies.


Regional Manager Adrian Stewart said the Water Corporation was happy to fund the installation of the new showerheads for the college after the trial as the initiative was an investment to save water.


“When a high user of water with shared facilities like the Denmark Agricultural College comes to us with a significant water saving proposal, we will certainly consider assisting with costs because it benefits everybody,” Mr Stewart said.


Another water conservation analysis is under way at the college, with student Ben Goldsmith measuring the effectiveness of collecting water from the large roof covering the gym and dining hall.


His results will help determine the potential water savings and subsequent cost effectiveness of installing a tank, pump, pipes and filtration system to service toilets and the on-site laundry through a greywater system.


Water Corporation is now offering a range of waterwise offers for the Denmark community, including a free showerhead swap program. For more information, go to www.watercorporation.com.au/waterwisedenmark


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