The Oxijet™, a new Felton water saving shower head for showers that feel better than those from low flow shower heads, is available as of February 4, 2013. It saves about 50 percent on water use from a traditional shower head, depending on your water pressure.
Using four micro nozzles to jet the water, it uses the Venturi effect to increase water speed “dragging air through the coloured baffles. This air volumizes the water stream, forming small bubbles that burst when they touch your skin.” When diameter varies in a tube, it creates a difference in pressure and fluid speed, air gets sucked into the Venturi tube because of the partial vacuum, it mixes in with the water and forms tiny bubbles in the water stream. The end result is that you save on water bills and conserve water use for the environment, but it feels like you are getting a high-volume shower.
The air sucked into the shower rose stem volumizes and pressurizes the water. Other air shower systems exist currently, but this one probably has higher water savings and can be easily fitted to most shower fittings. It will not work with existing flow restrictors or flow saving devices fitted to
the current systems that cannot be removed, low flow electric showers, or low or unequal water pressures.
Different colored baffles are required for different shower systems. The blue baffle as seen in the picture is for a fixed rose with a male thread. A yellow baffle version is to be used with shower handpieces and the pink baffle Oxijet is for a fixed rose with a female thread. The Felton website has information on how to make the different connections and a flow rate calculator page to tell you what your water savings will be, depending on your specific water pressures and the restrictions in your piping and shower. The step by step video guide shows you how to test, first without the Oxijet, and then with it. You enter the numbers on the calculator page and hit the calculate key to get the water savings.
Felton Industries Ltd. in New Zealand is the producer of the Oxijet which was developed by CSIRO, Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. CISRO, one of the largest, most diverse research agencies worldwide, is Australia’s national science agency.
To buy in the U.S., the Oxijet will be available at Plumbing Plus to order online.
There is a YouTube video of Dr. Jie Wu, fluids specialist at CSIRO, explaining how it works, but his English is a bit difficult for American ears to understand. Watch the attached video explanation by Felton Industries, whose speaker has an Australian-sounding accent. When he says what sounds like “ear”, he is saying “air”. There are several YouTube videos on the Oxijet, like “How to fit a Felton Oxijet™ for a shower handpiece”.
Severe water restrictions are currently imposed in all Australian states, with some permanent water efficiency rules. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’s, there is now decreased household water use and increasing water prices. An average traditional household uses about 200,000 litres (52,834 gallons) of water annually, and showers use close to one-third of that. There is plenty of water on the planet, but only two to three percent of it is not salt water. Melting glaciers are adding more of the freshwater supply to the oceans daily, and water conservation is a critical issue.
There are other green shower heads available now in the United States, but only the Oxygenics says it uses up to 70 percent less water. It is difficult to compare without standard gallons per minute and pressure comparisons. Another consideration is always where an item is produced and how far it has to be transported. The Oxijet is made in New Zealand, whereas Energy Technology Laboratories’s Oxygenics is made in Reno, Nevada.
- The Kohler K-8544 shower head is LEED Green Building compliant and says it saves 20 percent on water.
- The Delta RP46384 shower head with H2Okinetic Technology does not detail water savings but does have a flow rate of 1.5 gallons-per-minute (GPM).
- The Evolve Roadrunner II has a 1.5 gpm maximum flow @ 80 psi.
- The Oxygenics Evolution™ Shower Head “uses 20-70% less water compared to industry leading brands” and a maximum of 2.5 GPM.
- The Waterpik EcoFlow® shower heads say they reduce water consumption by up to 36 percent.
Of course if it is allowed in your area, even better is to do rain harvesting, shower with the rain water, and collect that to reuse as gray water to irrigate food supplies.