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The EPA Wants Hotels to Keep Track of How Much Time & Water Guests Waste in the Shower

The EPA has awarded the University of Tulsa a grant to develop a prototype device that tracks hotel guests’ water usage.

According to a recent grant awarded to the University of Tulsa by the Environmental Protection Agency, hotel guests are wasting millions of gallons of water each year by taking long showers. Soon, there may be a solution.

The University of Tulsa is using the $15,000 grant money to create a prototype of a device that tracks how much water is used when a hotel guest takes a shower. It is expected to be a low-cost, wireless flow meter that attaches to the showerhead and will send water usage data to an accounting system in the hotel.

Three undergraduate students are working to create the device, as well as creating ways to involve the guests themselves. Guests will be able to monitor their daily water usage via the web or a smartphone app, which will hopefully adjust their water conservation habits accordingly.

But don’t worry — the EPA states that this is no way an invasion of privacy designed to track how long hotel guests spend in the shower. It is specifically to track water usage.

“Let us be very clear, EPA is not monitoring how much time hotel guests spend in the shower,” said Laura Allen, the EPA’s deputy press secretary. “The marketplace, not EPA, will decide if there is a demand for this type of technology. It’s ultimately up to hotels to use technology like the monitors being developed at the University of Tulsa. EPA is encouraging creativity with water conservation efforts.”


Comments are Closed.
MaxVO March 19, 2015

Relax guys. It's just a college research grant worth $15K. Industry calls such college inventions 'PhD devices'. They are very educational for the students, but hardly ever function in the real world as intended.

ontheway March 19, 2015

Soon the government will be IN the shower with us. When do we make them stop???

JackE March 19, 2015

I never thought it would come down to the government monitoring what we do in the bathroom.

pinkblanket March 19, 2015

"the EPA states that this is no way an invasion of privacy." NSA probably said that, too.

sdsearch March 19, 2015

Attaches to which showerhead? The picture used above shows a showerhead which could be one of two. In those hotels that have this type of handheld showerhead, I've often also seen a separate fixed showerhead. The user in those cases could switch between the two showerheads. Unless this monitor is placed before they split, you would need two such monitors in each shower, or else the monitor would not work depending on which showerhead the user chose to use. And if it's wireless, how simple will it be for someone to come up with a metal thing you wrap around the back of the showerhead it to block the signal? (Not too long ago, I stayed in a hotel where I had zero wifi signal at the desk, but when I moved my laptop to on top of the microwave that was next to the desk, the wifi signal became perfect. It seemed obvious to me that the metal shielding in the microwave was blocking the wifi signal in that case, since my room was the end of a hall and the microwave was between the desk and the hallway, and hotel wifi signal was undoubtedly down the hallway.)