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New showerheads help conserve water at Andersen AFB

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Veronica McMahon
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
The Air Force prides itself in conserving energy and resources, and Airmen here are doing their part with the recent installation of low-flow showerheads in base housing.

Brig. Gen. John Doucette, the 36th Wing commander, was the first to install the energy efficient appliance Dec. 6.

"By lowering your hot water use you save energy and money," said Patrick Russell, the 36th Civil Engineer Squadron energy manager. "In a typical home, 73 percent of water used in a shower is hot water. By installing low-flow showerheads and aerators, this can lower a home's water use by up to 50 percent."

Aerators affix to a standard home faucet and introduce air into the water stream giving the illusion that more water is being released, but, in actuality, it's conserving water and energy, Russell said.

There are two types of low-flow faucets and showerheads: aerating (the most popular) and non-aerating. Aerating mixes air into the water stream. This maintains steady pressure so the flow has an even, full shower spray. Because air is mixed in with the water, the water temperature can cool down a bit towards the floor of the shower. Non-aerating adds a pulse to the water stream; maintaining temperature and delivering a strong spray.

"Initiatives like this allow the Air Force to become efficient in energy resources while saving money we can use elsewhere," Doucette said. "Although it may seem like a small step individually, the combined efforts of (Airmen here) making these changes can have a big impact on our carbon footprint.'"

The Federal Energy Policy Act of 1992 requires that all faucet fixtures manufactured in the United States restrict maximum water flow at or below 2.5 gallons per minute at 80 pounds per square inch of water pressure or 2.2 GPM at 60 PSI. This ensures that most faucet products available will offer at least minimal water efficiency benefits.

"The importance of Andersen going green sets the precedence for our future goals of sustainment on base," Russell said. "Not only are we saving tax payers money, but also showing that the Air Force leads the way in energy and water-reduction efforts. We are achieving these goals by changing the culture of the Airmen through leadership, training, education and communication."