Quantcast

College Entrepreneurs Develop Shower Meter to Reduce Water Consumption

Business

Of the hundreds of people the team at Sprav Water LLC asked, the majority had no clue how much water they used during showers.

"More than you probably want to know," one person responded in a company video.

The average U.S. household uses 300 gallons of water per day, and only laundry washing and toilet flushing consumes more water than showers, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Cleveland, OH-area college students of Sprav developed a method to decrease water consumption in the shower with a wireless smart water meter birthed from an extra credit project.

“We all sat down and thought back to the days when we were kids getting yelled at for taking too long in the shower and realized that this was a market with little innovation and great opportunity for growth,” Sprav CEO Craig Lewis said.

The Sprav Water LLC team is pictured, from left to right: CEO Craig Lewis, CCO Andrew Schad and COO CJ Valle. Screenshot from Sprav video

People can easily monitor their hot water usage by the color indicator on the smart water meter. The meter's light works the same as the country's traffic signal system, with a red light indicating that you've been in the shower too long. The light only serves as a warning, though. It's up to the user to turn off the water.

The company—led by Lewis, a senior at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), classmate CJ Valle and recent Cleveland Art Institute graduate Andrew Schad—estimates that homeowners could save between 10 and 20 percent on water costs each year.

Photo credit: Sprav Water LLC

Sprav has also developed a smartphone app to compliment the water meter. People can view real-time usage data, as well as periodic reports and savings over time.

The trio at Sprav turned its 2011 extra credit product at CWRU into an award-winning, redesigned project in a competition sponsored by Saint-Gobain. The business later earned "seed" funding from Bizdom, a startup accelerator for businesses in Cleveland and Detroit. 

The first smart water meters will be shipped in April 2014 and eventually for sale on the company's website.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A new study shows that half of all Arctic warming and corresponding sea-loss during the late 20th century was caused by ozone-depleting substances. Here, icebergs discharged from Greenland's Jakobshavn Glacier. Kevin Krajick / Earth Institute / EurekAlert!

The world awakened to the hole in the ozone layer in 1985, which scientists attributed it to ozone-depleting substances. Two years later, in Montreal, the world agreed to ban the halogen compounds causing the massive hole over Antarctica. Research now shows that those chemicals didn't just cut a hole in the ozone layer, they also warmed up the Arctic.

Read More
Diane Wilson holds up a bag full of nurdles she collected from one of Formosa's outfall areas on Jan. 15. Julie Dermansky / DeSmogBlog

By Julie Dermansky

On the afternoon of Jan. 15, activist Diane Wilson kicked off a San Antonio Estuary Waterkeeper meeting on the side of the road across from a Formosa plastics manufacturing plant in Point Comfort, Texas.

After Wilson and the waterkeeper successfully sued Formosa in 2017, the company agreed to no longer release even one of the tiny plastic pellets known as nurdles into the region's waterways. The group of volunteers had assembled that day to check whether the plant was still discharging these raw materials of plastics manufacturing.

Read More
Sponsored

By Simon Coghlan and Kobi Leins

A remarkable combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and biology has produced the world's first "living robots."

Read More
Malaysian Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin (front 2nd L) and officials inspect a container containing plastic waste shipment on Jan. 20, 2020 before sending back to the countries of origin. AFP via Getty Images

The Southeast Asian country Malaysia has sent 150 shipping containers packed with plastic waste back to 13 wealthy countries, putting the world on notice that it will not be the world's garbage dump, as CNN reported. The countries receiving their trash back include the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Canada.

Read More
Trump leaves after delivering a speech at the Congress Centre during the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos on Jan. 21, 2020. JIM WATSON / AFP via Getty Images

U.S. President Donald Trump dismissed the concerns of environmental activists as "pessimism" in a speech to political and business leaders at the start of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on Tuesday.

Read More