We asked some people about their shower use, crunched the numbers to see whether the average shower length in the UK really was five minutes and wrote up the results. Then two years later we added a whole pile of new data. So two report for the price of one!

Is the five minute shower an urban myth? 1

A lot of policy decisions that are made to reduce water use in the UK are based on the fact that the average shower time is five minutes. ech2oanalysed the data collected from 415 people in the UK aged from 7 to 70, to find a very different result.

I wanted to thank you for your excellent survey ‘is the 5 minute shower an urban myth?’ There is very little publicly available information on this and most of what is there is anecdotal, poorly collected or out of date. Yours is the best survey i have found (in terms of stated methodology, sample size and results analysis and presentation)
I have used your survey as part of a raft of support to help raise funding for our recirculating shower systems – there is a lot of industry scepticism about the financial viability of ultra efficient showers, partly due to the poor information on shower habits and times. Your survey goes a long way to helping us disprove this scepticism.
Thank you. Nick Christy, CINTEP.



Is the five minute shower an urban myth? 2

Following on from their ground breaking first report, “Is the five minute shower an urban myth?” , ech2o have collected and analysed data from a further 785 respondents. The results are quite different from the first survey, with more people having shorter showers, but the answer to the question posed remains the same. Average shower times in the UK are still greater than five minutes.

Merely Installing water saving features without facing up honestly to the underlying behavioural issues is arguably box ticking at best and approaching futile at worst. Cath Hassell has shown us all how we can quickly and easily get the behaviours right to support substantial reductions. Practical, effective and down to earth as ever, Cath and her team at ech2o highlight the importance of whole system thinking about water use.
Neal Landsberg, Chair of SWIG (The Sustainable Water Industry Group)


Is the five minute shower an urban myth? 2010 and 2012