MADISON, Wis. - This Saturday, the Madison Water Utility is giving away 1,500 high-efficiency showerheads to residents from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Warner Park Community Recreation Center.
By switching to these showerheads, the average family could save an average of 2,900 gallons of water each year and possibly save money on bills by reducing the amount of energy it would have taken to heat excess water.
"A showerhead is a very small change that someone can make. These WaterSense shower heads only use 1.5 gallons of water per minute, whereas a typical shower head uses a gallon more than that. So there is an immediate conservation happening without changing anything but a single fixture," Amy Barrilleaux, the Madison Water Utility spokesperson, said.
WaterSense is a partnership program between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the company that certifies that products or services are at least 20 percent more water efficient without sacrificing performance.
According to Barrilleaux, the utility has already saved a half billion gallons of water since it started a toilet rebate program in 2009 that offers a $100 credit for buying a WaterSense toilet and hopes the giveaway will continue to bolster water conservation in the City of Madison.
"If all 1,500 shower heads are given away we are talking about saving millions of gallons over the lifetime of those showerheads in the city of Madison. One small giveaway is important to get people to think about how much water they are using in the shower and how a small change like a water-efficient fixture can make a difference," Barrilleaux said.
A major goal of the giveaway is to make residents aware of simple lifestyle changes can have a great impact on water conservation.
Barrilleaux said that 30 years ago, the average Madisonian used more than 80 gallons of water per person per day, and currently the average resident only uses 55 to 64 per day.
The utility hopes that their water conservation initiatives will help this number to continue to decline and make residents more cognizant about how much water they use on a daily basis.
"The showerhead giveaway is the first time we've ever tried a massive giveaway and if it is successful, we hope to have more of these things happen in the future," Barrilleaux said.
Madison residents interested in picking up a free showerhead should bring proof of Madison residency or their Madison Municipal Services Bill.
Any leftover showerheads after the Saturday event will be handed out during regular business hours at the Madison Water Utility offices on Olin Street starting Monday.
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