How We Destroyed Indoor Plumbing

Bureaucrats are in your showers, sinks, and toilets

Should the federal government be monitoring the length of your shower? The Obama administration has funded a study at the University of Tulsa with a $15,000 grant that would monitor showers in hotels and report back.

As the EPA says: “The proposed work aims to develop a novel low cost wireless device for monitoring water use from hotel guest room showers. This device will be designed to fit most new and existing hotel shower fixtures and will wirelessly transmit hotel guest water usage data to a central hotel accounting system.”

You can see where this is going. Study the issue. Test the plan on hotels. Extend it to new construction, apartment buildings, then homes. Enforce the rules. This is the trajectory, and to believe it can happen is not paranoia. In fact, the regulations on toilets, showers, washing machines, water heaters, and dishwashers are numerous, onerous, and truly awful. We all suffer every day from these regulatory excesses.

The Romans invented indoor plumbing. It took America in the late 20th century to uninvent it.

The year the showerhead was compromised was 1994. Whereas showers used to dump 12 gallons of water on us per minute, Congress legislated so that they could only push out 2.5 gallons, meaning that you have to take longer showers, the shampoo and conditioner never quite leave full heads of hair, and you feel the need to run around in your shower just to get the soap off.

It’s going to get worse. The EPA is now certifying showerheads only when they spray less than 2 gallons of water.

Yes, there are hacks. Notice how the rich commonly install multiple shower heads in their high-end showers, sometimes as many as half a dozen. The rich always find a way, and the regulations were widely believed to pertain to each shower head, not the total water used in a single shower. The EPA is now working to change that too, clarifying that they really mean the total water in each shower.

You can also hack your own, as I did over the weekend with my new shower head. They are getting more difficult to hack. It took me fully 45 minutes. I started with the corkscrew, moved to the long-nose pliers, and finally did the trick with a hammer and screw driver. The nasty flow stopper gave up and fell out. Finally, a real shower head emerged from deconstructive work.

But why should we have to do all of this? We think we are civilized? No, not entirely. State violence in the form of government regulations have been employed deliberately to downgrade our capacity to get clean and stay healthy, all in the name of conserving water that should actually be used for the purpose of cleaning and removing waste.