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."
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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.