Unique Hygiene Control

VX 7.9L water saving shower head 

Maintenance and Cleanliness

Because the design does not have a multitude of outlet holes or sieve plate with rubber nipples but one single outlet point there is a fraction of the surface area for biofilm to develop.

Nutrition

Limescale contains many nutrients such as calcium, manganese, iron and that will settle on certain areas of a showerhead when the water cools – most likely at the face. These layers of deposited materials are termed as biofilm. Biofilm and limescale tends to be remain behind when the water evaporates. Pooling of water in the recesses of a sieve plate type head and the final drops from rubber nipples type heads tend to exaggerate biofilm build up. As this pooling and cooling /evaporation occurs repeatedly the layers of biofilm deepen, embedding bacteria within – an ideal nutritional for growth and spore formation. Showerheads are especially ideal points in a water system because of this provision of deposition of biofilm here and as most are aerobic – also have access to air. The image here shows a bacterium and a biofilm layer.

Moisture

Like all organisms water is required for survival and growth. A ideal scenario for growth is a tepid water pool remaining in the head after a shower. Water will pools in a recess of a sieve plate type head and  it will sit until it evaporates or the shower is reused in the meantime. This warm tepid pool provides an ideally environment and temperature for microbial growth.

Aeration

Aside from the majority of problematic bacterium being aerobic, the most common problem bacteria associated with water systems, Legionnaires, needs to be inhaled so atomization caused by restriction or inner turbulence at the head and an aerated water stream give the ideal conditions for transfer by inhalation.

Unlike “aerated”-type flow controls, laminar flow does not draw ambient room air into the water stream, avoiding any possible introduction of airborne bacteria”. Peter Jahrling October 1, 2008 issue of Plumbing in Healthcare – Merging Efficiency and Hygiene.

Suggested Remedy

There has not been a showerhead technology invented that can eliminate the health risk posed by microbes and bacteria in water and shower heads – despite any claims otherwise. Reducing the risk by regular cleaning any build up on sieve plates by dipping in say a vinegar or anti septic solution is the only feasible measure in a household. But there is one precaution advised.

If your showerhead has not had water flowing through it for some time – then bacteria has had an opportunity to multiply and grow because it was not disturbed by water flowing through the showerhead. So if you have not used your shower for a few days – let it run for a minute or so before entering the cubicle to let the flow wash away any bacteria or spores sitting on the surface of a sieve plate biofilm – and you just might escape from picking up that unsuspected holiday bug!