Power shower meter call

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The Independent Online
The days of the super-powerful power shower could be numbered. Government advisers have suggested that homes which have these extra-strong devices fitted should have water meters installed as well and water companies agree.

Sales of power showers with built in electric pumps have soared recently. Taking a shower is generally reckoned to save water compared to having a bath, but that is not so with the stronger power showers.

The Water Regulations Advisory Committee says those which use over 20 litres a minute should require written approval from the household's water company before installation. That would give the company the option of insisting on fitting a water meter, as happens with swimming pools in most of the country.

In less than four minutes, such a shower can consume enough to fill a bath. They flow three times as fast as a non-powered, gravity-fed shower.

The advisors have also suggested cutting the maximum allowed flush volume of lavatory cisterns from 7.5 litres to six for all new WCs. But their suggestion that a European-type flushing mechanism should be allowed as well as the British, siphon-based one has angered the Water Companies Association and UK manufacturers, in the shape of the British Bathroom Council.

They claim the siphon-system is virtually leak proof, while Euro-style valves often dribble.