some really dangerous criminals - just wait till the feds get them

Shower-head maker lands in hot water By Mike Branom, Tribune January 17, 2006

A Scottsdale maker of shower heads is in hot water with conservation officials. Zoe Industries Manufacturing recently was accused of producing shower heads that produce a flow exceeding the federal standard of 2.5 gallons per minute.

Al Dietemann, head of water conservation for Seattle, said an independent laboratory determined Zoes Nautilus II Showerbuddy sent out a flow of 12.7 gallons per minute when the water reaches the head, with a force of 80 pounds per square inch.

The city and the California Urban Water Conservation Council have forwarded the results to the U.S. Department of Energy for review.

It isnt clear what federal sanctions could be levied.

Because showers typically are the third-largest use of water in a home, Dietemann is worried that conservation efforts could be for naught if more contractors and homeowners install these heads.

"If people start installing these high-flow heads, the savings we have worked so hard to obtain are going to be eroded rather dramatically," Dietemann said.

The owner of Zoe, David Dewey, said he has yet to hear from any official but he appreciates the publicity.

"Im selling more shower heads," Dewey said. "My sales have tripled."

Many shower heads are sold with water regulators built inside, but Dietemann said there is no punishment if the consumer tinkers with the head to strengthen the flow.

"If we all adopt those wasteful ways, itll be a disservice to ourselves and the environment," Dietemann said.

Contact Mike Branom by email, or phone (480) 898-6536

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