Design and Technology

Natalie Mocan

1

Aqua (shower)

A shower system that limits the amount of water used. Developed in response to drought conditions.

Living in a developed country, it is very easy to take access to water for granted. Unfortunately, last year's drought took an immeasurable toll on Australia’s water supply and while it may seem like it was eons ago, the effect of the drought are ongoing and water still needs to be conserved.

In spite of the drought, society has not changed its water-usage behaviours, so using technology which reduces water usage is a way of making an immediate difference.

Aqua is a water-saving shower system which measures the flow rate of water and when 30L has been used, the water automatically shuts off.

The user is alerted prior to the shut-off through a change in the colour of the lights in the showerhead, as well as a screen displaying the number of litres of water being used. This makes users both more conscious of their water usage and helps reduce water wastage.

The use of water-efficient irrigation fittings inside the showerhead enables a flow rate of less than 6L/min. The user still has the ability to choose whether they use mist or full spray, which can increase the length of time they have in the shower.

After extensive research, designing, prototyping and testing, the product body was made through a combination of techniques including 3D printing, laser cutting, CNC routing and finishing methods.

For the system to function, solenoids, a flow rate meter, a real time clock, buttons, an LCD screen and RGB LEDs were wired into a circuit and controlled by an Arduino so the water would automatically shut off. The water cannot be turned on until 10 minutes has passed.

Overall, I am pleased with the outcome of this product and believe it is an effective way to reduce household water usage.