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Oxijet air shower reduces water use by 50 percent

By

January 26, 2013

The Oxijet nozzle

The Oxijet nozzle

Image Gallery (2 images)

Low-flow shower heads are a good way to save water, but using one can be a bit like showering with a spray bottle. New Zealand company Felton, in collaboration with Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), has developed the Oxijet – an “air shower” head that injects tiny air bubbles into the water droplets to make the shower feel like it’s at full pressure, yet while using 50 percent less water.

"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. Jie Wu, a fluids specialist at CSIRO said. "This expands the volume of the shower stream, meaning you can save the same amount of water, while still enjoying your shower."

There are other air shower systems, but the Oxijet is unusual in that it can be fitted to almost any standard shower fitting. It was tested at the Novotel Northbeach hotel in Wollongong, Australia, where there are water restrictions.

"With over 200 rooms we go through over 10 million liters (2,600,000 gal) of water per year, so any saving we can make is very important. We've found our customers prefer Oxijet over other 'low flow' shower heads, because it gives the illusion of full water pressure," Mr Walter Immoos, General Manager of Novotel Northbeach said.

The Oxijet is accredited by the Australian Water Efficiency and Labeling Standards scheme, and is now available for purchase in Australia.

The video below shows the Oxijet in action.

Source: CSIRO

About the Author
David Szondy David Szondy is a freelance writer based in Monroe, Washington. An award-winning playwright, he has contributed to Charged and iQ magazine and is the author of the website Tales of Future Past.   All articles by David Szondy
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25 Comments

Isn't this the same story as the one in the Related Articles below from 6 years ago?

Eric Grant
26th January, 2013 @ 04:35 pm PST

I can see this have huge commercial value for hotels.

While they are injecting airs, can someone get on sonic showers from Star Trek already!

Calvin k
26th January, 2013 @ 06:17 pm PST

This is a brilliant idea! It'll save so much water for areas where water is scarce.

Nantha Kumar Nithiahnanthan
26th January, 2013 @ 07:42 pm PST

Aerating shower heads are an old, old technology. I don't see why this is being presented as something new. Injecting air cools the water down and makes you want to turn up the hot water. Defeats the purpose of saving money. There are studies going on out there about how aerating shower heads spread germs around in the bathroom. We own a great feeling shower head that is only 1.5 gpm. It is called the HighSierra shower head.

albacore
26th January, 2013 @ 08:08 pm PST

Not quite the same, Eric - the related article's device only offers 30% water savings.

Joel Detrow
26th January, 2013 @ 10:10 pm PST

Established in 1981, Energy Technology Laboratories of Reno, NV, has produced it's Oxygenics aeration shower heads for quite some time now. I discovered one in a Marriott hotel two years ago and loved it so much that I bought several on the internet. Supposedly uses 1/2 as much water as a low-flow shower head. It's powerful yet not harsh at all ... the perfect shower!

As for it cooling the water down, thus requiring more hot water, that effect is minimal unless you're four feet or more away from the shower head (a large shower indeed!). And Albacore's comment that "aerating shower heads spread germs around" is news to me. My family has not suffered any such ill effects. I should think a fan, an exhaust fan or any fan, would be more likely to spread germs since aerated water goes down the drain, not down your throat, while air blown from a fan whirls about the room and would make germ inhalation easy. This "germ" problem is more likely an attack from the competition.

WagTheDog
27th January, 2013 @ 02:28 am PST

There is no shortage of water. There is nothing gained whatsoever by 'saving' water. It does not go flying out into space never to be seen again.

Moving water costs money, not the water itself. If you live in a place with inefficient systems to transport water, please look into that.

Self-gratification devices like this reduce the quality of your life, despite the fact that it's hip and cool this moment.

Todd Dunning
27th January, 2013 @ 12:42 pm PST

Saving water = saving money for me in SOCAL.... and I could use some extra quid, until I get my entitlements of course.

Mark A
27th January, 2013 @ 08:42 pm PST

@Todd of course, as we all know, fresh, drinkable water comes out of the tap from a magical infinite supply, everywhere in the world, completely free, and nobody anywhere ever has any kind of shortage or restriction.

Synchro
28th January, 2013 @ 01:38 am PST

@Todd Dunning,

Yeah, fair point about the inefficiencies in the infrastructure, however, I fail to see how a shower head that feels like it is 'full pressure' (if it works as claimed) 'reduces the quality of your life'. I am sorry but if your quality of life depends on the profligate use of resources, then I think there may be something questionable about your perceptions.

I currently use a less sophisticated flow-controlling in-line valve accessory, and although the flow of water may be reduced, the quality of my showering experience has not been markedly reduced (indeed I forget it is there)- it doesn't add air, as this product does, and yet the quality of my life has not been affected by saving some valuable water.

What Governments really ought to do is to introduce compulsory rainwater harvesting to new-build homes for non-potable water, with secondary recycling of shower/bath water for toilet flushing. The amount of water saved would be vast.

bergamot69
28th January, 2013 @ 02:05 am PST

@Todd Dunning - Seriously? What planet to do you live on? Just because you're so short sighted that you only look at your local area doesn't mean the rest of the world is so comfortable.

Mark Thomas
28th January, 2013 @ 03:42 am PST

Todd, in England, water is not free. You either pay water rates, or have a water meter fitted and you are charged according to how much you use.As you correctly, say water doesn't go anywhere, but it does have to be processed, and piped around. The problem in the world is there is not enough fresh water.

Surprisingly, both in the US and in England water actually belongs to the water companies, and you're not allowed to harvest it. I read a case recently where a man was put in prison for collecting water in his own ponds. He had originally got permission, but the powers -that-be changed their minds.

I have a hot water system that heats on demand, and it wastes a lot of water, because of the cold water in the pipes that has to be run through.

David Colton Clarke
28th January, 2013 @ 05:02 am PST

Fresh water is being converted into non-fresh water. I wonder if this tech could be used with fraking for oil production.

KMH
28th January, 2013 @ 09:24 am PST

I'd buy one of these simply so I don't use up the hot water as fast - my cylinder only gives just enough for 2 people to have moderate showers, if I can double that with something that just swaps out, then yes please!

LR
28th January, 2013 @ 09:51 am PST

Where's Buckminster Fuller's low water high air pressure shower from the 50's? It's not even patented but could reduce water use to less than 1 liter per shower....

Charles Barnard
28th January, 2013 @ 11:19 am PST

Synchro: "@Todd of course, as we all know, fresh, drinkable water comes out of the tap from a magical infinite supply, everywhere in the world, completely free, and nobody anywhere ever has any kind of shortage or restriction."

It is an infinite supply, Synchro. This hipster solution of being 'eco' does nothing to fix these problems at all. But it does make you look cool to college chicks.

Instead, it punishes you, the user, for your area's inadequate delivery system or absurd charges, as in England above.

Imagine England charging for water, of all places on earth. It rains from the sky day and night. And you guys vote for that?

Todd Dunning
28th January, 2013 @ 11:19 am PST

People with Todd's mindset are the reason why the community of Pueble, Colorado (narrowly) defeated regulations that mandated the use of water saving toilets in new construction. So now developers can save a few bucks while pushing the higher costs of either replacing new toilets or needlessly wasting regionally scarce water and paying more for it.

moreover
28th January, 2013 @ 12:50 pm PST

Todd, What part of this planet do you live on? Here in the Southwesten US, water IS a huge issue. And we pay for it.

fleming
28th January, 2013 @ 02:16 pm PST

I have found that the recirculating shower system, from such companies as Quench (www.quenchshowers.com/), makes even more sense for seriously reducing water use. 10 min shower would be 6 liters use vs 30 liters from Oxijet system (at 3 liters/minute) (50% of a typical 1.5 gal/min shower head). Interesting that the article doesn't mention actual use, leading me to suspect that it is not that great...

ADVENTUREMUFFIN
28th January, 2013 @ 02:59 pm PST

What I'd like to see is a test of low flow VS normal shower heads to see how much water it takes to remove a set amount of soap from a person.

The test should be run over a long period of time with a set group of people using the showers every day, switching between the two.

Sensors in the drains would detect when there's no more soap going down, indicating the shower user has completely rinsed off, and shutting off the water.

Another part of the test should use human shaped dummies with no joints or other places to catch water and soap. Precisely metered amounts of soap would be applied to the dummies then they'd be rotated under the spray to test for how much water is required to rinse off the soap.

My bet is that at best the water use for the low flow would be about the same and that it'd take more time to rinse off the soap from both humans and dummies.

The next step would be to remove the no soap indicator from the view of the shower users and allowing the users to control when to shut off the water when they think they've fully rinsed.

My bet on that is many people would take even longer in the shower and use more water with a low flow shower head.

Will such scientific tests ever be done? Not bloody likely!

Gregg Eshelman
28th January, 2013 @ 06:53 pm PST

I bought one of those aerating shower heads. I didn't like it because it felt cold even when the water was very hot, I think it must have something to do with the entrained air making an evaporative effect making you feel chilled even though the water was very hot. An unsatisfying shower, it did make me take shorter showers. I re-installed the old one after a few months.

jeffrey
28th January, 2013 @ 07:40 pm PST

Most of the discussion above seems to have missed the point of this device. If you have ever showered with a low flow shower head (and I do every day), you will know that it doesn't FEEL like you're getting as wet as you would with a conventional shower head. Because you're not. The inference is, that people with low flow showers would tend to spend longer in the shower in order to FEEL like they are properly clean. It's a perception thing, when you're under the shower you want to feel... well, wet. And preferably warm. I've tried aerating shower heads before, and like @jeffery it made the water FEEL cold. If this little gizmo works as advertised, and can help reduce water usage then all I can say to its creators is, good work!

Re: Todd Dunning. Todd you are quite correct in saying there is 'no water shortage', but it's not an 'infinite supply'! Water has to be captured, treated and distributed to our homes before we can even think about showering in it. Many parts of the world have a shortage of clean, potable water and 'Inadequate delivery systems' are not not always the culprit. Extended droughts for example can stretch even the best water distribution systems to breaking point. So rather than being a 'self-gratification device', It is a simple way of allowing people to feel they are properly clean, while reducing the use of a limited resource.

P.S. And yes, I pay for my water. The magic pixies in my city have gone on strike, and have stopped installing dams, treatment plants and distribution pipes.

P.P.S. 'Reduce the quality of your life' Care to explain that to the class?

Embur
29th January, 2013 @ 12:10 am PST

@Todd Dunning (again).

(Sigh). Water is not in infinite supply- at least not processed potable water.

In the South East of England, for example, there are relatively few reservoirs serving millions of people- much of the water actually has to be harvested from aquafers, which unlike reservoirs, do not replenish quickly because the water has to filter through the ground first. Building yet more reservoirs, or bringing in water from other parts of the country (which would have a negative effect on those regions) would be fantastically expensive and disruptive. Hence there is a need for periodic mandatory water use restrictions- especially after a period of drought. The South East of England has been compared to southern Spain in terms of water availability versus demand.

So yes, economising on water is a must- it may be a renewable resource but that depends on the weather and upon demand. It is not in the least bit absurd to charge for the expense of pumping, filtering, delivering, maintainance of infrastructure, treatment of sewage and of surface rainwater, etc, etc. Someone has to pay for it- do you think it arrives at your kitchen tap (faucet) by itself?

@David Colton-Clark,

It isn't illegal to harvest rainwater in the UK without a license. Collecting from ponds is another matter- I don't know the circumstances of the case you refer to, but it is reasonable to assume that he was abstracting water without a license, or was breaking the terms of his licence. If he was abstracting willy-nilly, he could have been restricting the flow of water further downstream if the ponds were linked to an ongoing water course, or causing harm to aquatic life or local flora by causing a drop in water levels, or to the water table itself when this was the source of the pond water. It is possible to get a license to abstract water- as is frequently done- please read this http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/business/topics/water/32020.aspx .

bergamot69
29th January, 2013 @ 01:26 am PST

This is not a new type of shower head. Its an in-line adapter that can be fitted to your existing non low flow shower head to give you a reduction in your water consumption.

It also means that you don't have to throw away your existing shower head and should be cheaper than buying a complete replacement.

Facebook User
31st January, 2013 @ 01:57 am PST

I think todd has a point but he left some stuff out

granted water miser shower heads probably save you more money in electric than water and the buricrats like to make everyone think that water is expencive but it is not they are making 1000s% profit but in certain areas the water table has droped hundres of feet and why would that be?its not from shower heads and toilits wasting money its because they are growing hay and other plants that do not belong their.

their are so many products that claim they save water like toilets but do they really?if a regular tolit uses 5 gallons of water and you flush it that's 5 gallons but my experience is the tolits that clame to save water you have to flush them many times and end up wasting more water (and time)

maybe it would save more to install a urinal and keep the toilt that works

same with shower heads their are heads that work great with little water but their are many that use less water per time but you end up rinsing for much longer too so it ends up being the same amount of water, but the quality of the shower and "your life" is less,some times trying to save water is a wast

maybe an adjustable valve on a good wastful head would be best then you can turn it of an on and down and up and spay the soap of well

it would help if ther were good videos with comparison of many water saver shower heads and show them filling up a jug with the water and show how well it sprays maybe even show it rinse sope out of a wig or something

Keven Hinckel
3rd March, 2014 @ 09:46 am PST
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