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Pee under the shower to save water, says council executive

Wednesday 09 January 2013

A council official in the Drenthe municipality of Aa en Hunze is recommending people pee while having a shower in order to save water and cash.

The council has launched a project in 2013 to increase sustainability and saving water is an integral part of the mission, the AD reports on Wednesday.

Urinating while under the show 'saves lots of clean water and is good for the environment,' Bert Wassink is quoted as saying. 'If you combine showers and peeing, you save a lot of water and money, so why not?'

According to the AD, the average Dutch person uses 39 litres a day on showers and 36 litres flushing the toilet.

Wassink, who represents the left-wing green party GroenLinks, told the paper he already practises what he preaches.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

I'm just not surprised that this would be a suggestion to the solution to conserving water. Hey, why not just pee in the gracht as the men do by my house!

By M | 9 January 2013 10:53 AM

Next it will be, 'shower under your pee'. Thank heavens he hasn't come up with a clever idea for recycling the solids.

By Highlander | 9 January 2013 11:40 AM

And in a month or two your bathroom will stink of pee.No thanks.

By jason buttle | 9 January 2013 12:35 PM

I thought EVERYONE pee'd under the shower as a matter of course, anyway.

By woods | 9 January 2013 12:42 PM

Why not? The hygiene - does council know meaning of that word?

By Haarlemer | 9 January 2013 1:12 PM

Nice tip Bert. Thanks. Worth any penny spent on you from my taxes. Any tips on pooing?

By rapid | 9 January 2013 1:59 PM

but this country is drowning in water.
whats the point of saving it?

By troubled | 9 January 2013 1:59 PM

I'd hate to use the same shower as that guy. This is disgusting, pigish behavior that isn't appropriate in a civilized society with knowledge of the importance of hygiene. Certainly, there must be other ways to save water that are cleaner and more considerate of others.

By Sam | 9 January 2013 2:23 PM

Doing #2 in the tub will also save money. Whoever came up with this idea should be fired!

By richard | 9 January 2013 3:22 PM

seems like groenlinks has really nothing more to do to gain attention after their pathetic outcome at the elections

By the_expat | 9 January 2013 3:47 PM

'Not a new concept this..

After a taste of living with & amongst some poor Filipinos, I learned how to do with a lot less here in NL, & make my small income go a lot further.

Bucket showers by only using an electric kettle to heat water & washing dishes from the cold tap: substitute central heating with an electric blanket. There are countless ways to make savings. ;)

We don't really need all that much to survive.

By The visitor | 9 January 2013 3:47 PM

And then he washes the shower floor with bleach? Or does he just leave the shower room smelling like a public toilet? Bleach is probably worse for the enviroment than the water he saves! Makes me wonder how we manage to find such strange public officials..

By Andy | 9 January 2013 3:51 PM

@Haarlemer and Sam, urine is 100% sterile.
By the way, "peeing in the shower" (in English with quotation marks) gives 3.230.000 Google results.

By pepe | 9 January 2013 4:01 PM

Sorry, but I really can't see the issue here. I don't he is saying also pee into a shower, he's saying while your in the shower and the water is running you could pee to save water on flushing (if you flush every time of course) hygiene is really not an issue here, don't pee on your flannel or into your shower gel and I think you will survive....in fact even if you did you would survive.

By Dave | 9 January 2013 4:09 PM

What about hygiene? Urine is basically sterile salt water with a bit of urea and other metabolites. It's cleaner than that you are washing off of your body--dead skin, dirt, grease, bacteria, etc. When you pee into a toilet, you are not only wasting water, but increasing the load on sewage treatment plants (which more energy intensive than treating grey water from shower drains.)

By RC | 9 January 2013 4:23 PM

Peeing in the shower still seems like a waste to me. Are you sure we can't recycle it into something useful? Fertilizer? Fuel? Lemonade?

By kakos | 9 January 2013 4:48 PM

Thats going to save you a few pennies and your shower will stink. Lovely!

By Roger Rabit | 9 January 2013 4:55 PM

Well they say that morning pee is very well against warts so get rif of warts AND save water! Way to go! ps. And then we need to use bleach to clean it all. VERY good for the environment!

By maximizer | 9 January 2013 5:37 PM

this isn't a matter of hygeine or "civilized" behavior. what is it you do in the shower? you wash filth from your disgusting body. and urine is...oh, that's right, is sterile (and, for the most part, little more than water). so, what is adding more to your shower's accumulation of filth? your dead skin cells, residual fecal material from your perineum, shed hair, bacteria from your dermis and anything washed from your body? or, half a litre of sterile urine, washed down the same bloody pipes as the adjacent water closet, follwed by 39 litres of fresh water?

By MuddTrumppett | 9 January 2013 5:48 PM

Actually it'll take more water, because one would (hopefully!) want to make sure it's all well washed away.

By glenn_uk | 9 January 2013 6:35 PM

'Spend a Penny' in UK, becomes 'Save a Penny' in NL. Next thing you'll hear is that the Dutch are 'Pennypinchers', perish the thought.

By jaycee | 9 January 2013 7:14 PM

Even better: pee in the toilet's reservoir. Modify the toilet so less water can run in, and you fill up the rest. That way, you not only save water for not flushing your pee, but also for using less water to flush your #2's.

By Someone | 9 January 2013 7:28 PM

Peeing in your shower is not unhygienic or uncivilized. What you pee is made of the nearly the same chemical composition as your sweat, with higher concentrations of urea than sweat. A healthy person's urine is non-toxic. This is why you can drink your own urine and be absolutely fine. Peeing in the shower will not make your shower smell of urine, unless your shower drain doesn't properly work. There is a taboo about urine stemming from lack of knowledge of what it actually is (hint: >97% water and salts). Flushing the toilet is actually an incredibly wasteful habit, and reducing your flushes like this is an easy way to save water.

By Anonymous | 9 January 2013 8:19 PM

Ah, the joys of living where the Almighty State reigns supreme! Does the Minister on Breathing have any suggestions about how to conserve oxygen‽

By Drawer 22 | 9 January 2013 9:13 PM

I think you are all missing the point behind why this is a ridiculous idea.

If in fact we were to pee in the shower... The majority of people only shower once a day, but we urinate far more times than that a day. Is he then suggesting that we should shower every time we have to pee. That would definitely not save water.

So, if he is suggesting that peeing in the shower (once a day), while we are cleaning ourselves would save water... He should have some scientific backing to his claim.

In his reporting, he should be a bit more detailed on his claims.

By tones | 9 January 2013 10:27 PM

Pee in the shower? Even after eating asparagus? I would rather my shower smelled fresh - not like a toilet. Yeah, tried it once but you could it smell it for days... Crazy.

By Max Harmreduction | 9 January 2013 10:43 PM

So I need to shower every time I need to piss?

By Mick | 9 January 2013 11:46 PM

Pee in the sink, then rinse with a few palm fulls of water. much less splash contamination than when using the toilet and much less water.

By Kendall | 10 January 2013 12:00 AM

The world knows the Dutch can deal with water, but Mr. Wassink may have a common complaint of Hydrocephalus to which a tap on the head is a solution.

By Terence Hale | 10 January 2013 1:04 AM

Okay. So that is good for a single pee. What about the other half dozen or so that are taken throughout the day? They are supposed to take a shower every time the pee? Wow. They will be the cleanest folks in the country. LOL.

By The Cat Lady | 10 January 2013 5:12 AM

@troubled: It's not drowning under potable water.
@jason buttle: You're supposed to clean your shower every so often. Also, pee directly down the drain and don't spray it around.

By groverpm | 10 January 2013 7:54 AM

Why not! You can allways do it in the public swiming pool as well.

By Paul | 10 January 2013 8:02 AM

I think keeping bath water for flushing the wc pot is a better idea.

By ufo | 10 January 2013 8:22 AM

If you are going to follow this advice, it is best to do it only when you are alone in the shower, or find a very broad minded partner.

By Darren | 10 January 2013 8:36 AM

Why not have a shower every week or even month and wash our clothes..once a month..or even once a year. i am sure will save a lot of water this way

By kos | 10 January 2013 9:13 AM

I don't have a shower, only a bath...what now?

By Dean | 10 January 2013 10:46 AM

Gandhi drank his morning pee and did very well on it :)

By woods | 10 January 2013 11:17 AM

@Dave: Hygiene is really not an issue in NL. Some Dutch save a loot of water restricting their showers even to once a week, or at least they look and smell like this.

And what remember: "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger."

By AndyT6 | 10 January 2013 11:29 AM

I'm totally baffled by the ignorance of the majority of people that posted these comments above.
Unless you have an infection, urine is sterile and nontoxic.
The idea is just to save a couple of toilet flushes (depending on the number of times you shower per day) everyday while you shower.

I also liked the idea from "ufo" above: redirecting some water from the shower to fill up the toilet reservoir.

By Pedro | 10 January 2013 12:27 PM

In LA during the droughts it was advised that we flush the toilet just once every two or three times you urinate... you save even more water that way and it doesn't foul up your shower drain and floor with stinky urine.

By Quince | 10 January 2013 4:54 PM

To all the brainiacs that think he's suggesting you whip out the goods in the shower/tub, every time you need to pee: please. He's saying WHILE YOU'RE IN THERE TAKING A SHOWER ANYWAY, WATER FLOWING, PEE. Rather then use a toilet first, flush, then take a shower and waste water all over again.

Silly emotional reactions. I've been doing this for ages. Not because I'm disgusting -- I'll bet my washroom hygiene is better than most of you outraged commenters -- but simply because it makes sense.

By ProsKlos | 10 January 2013 6:26 PM

I pee in the shower all the time. I'm perfectly hygienic, quite girly, and my bathroom has never once smelled of urine. I'm guessing it's a cultural thing if you are all Dutch and are so appalled by something that a large portion of the general population does. And for those who commented on hygiene. How is wiping with toilet paper more sanitary than using soap and water to clean yourself after urinating? Where is your common sense?

By Meegan | 10 January 2013 10:09 PM

My dirty secret. Pee can help drains. Regular uric acid means Draino (salts like sodium hydroxide, sodium nitrate, and sodium chloride) are never needed. Shower shortly after application. Wash yourself with plenty of soap, shampoo. No buildup. No unpleasant odor. Success.

By Rollo | 11 January 2013 8:57 AM

Pee is sterile, has Ureum which is used in expensive crèmes: it keeps moisture in skin and increases breaking down of old skin cells. POW's user each other's pee on infected Sounds. Peeing in the shower helps problem toenails, excema and more. Never ever had a stinky bathroom!

By Dutchess | 11 January 2013 9:53 AM

Pee is sterile, has Ureum which is used in expensive crèmes: it keeps moisture in skin and increases breaking down of old skin cells. POW's user each other's pee on infected Sounds. Peeing in the shower helps problem toenails, excema and more. Never ever had a stinky bathroom!

By Dutchess | 11 January 2013 9:56 AM

A good example of ignorance so widespread among the "green" people.
a) go to school and LEARN abour hygiene.
b) if you pee in your shower and nothing happened to you that doesn't mean anything statistically
(probably morons have a strong immune system that helps them to survive.. :) )

By Vasia | 11 January 2013 3:28 PM

what a genius idea...if you were 8 years old...I suppose a tip for good family planning would be for husbands to go to the Red light district instead of consumation with their loved one? What a jack ass...

By david | 11 January 2013 5:07 PM

With the economy in the tank, unrest all over the world, we are discussing how to, when to, or why to pee in the shower stall?
The only person with a real problem is Dean.

By Hank Kemp | 12 January 2013 4:10 PM

@Vasia, what part of "urine is sterile" don't you understand?

By pepe | 12 January 2013 6:34 PM

@ RC.Toilet water and grey water both end up in the same sewer system, the waste water treatment works. EVERYbody is missing the point. This idiot is stating the obvious. It's just like telling you to stop breathing while swimming under water, as it will reduce your chances of drowning. Or driving with you eyes open. It will lessen the chances of you being involved in an accident! These people are being payed to think?! They're worse than South African Politicians! By the way. Every body pees in the shower while you are there and feel the urge to go, you just go. Or do you get out and pee in the toilet?

By Michiel James | 13 January 2013 12:14 AM

urine is sterile so I don't know why you're all creeped out by it. Peeing on your feet also solves issues going on there and reduces smelly feet! Get your noses out of the air you snobs!

By LJK | 15 January 2013 2:19 PM

@Henk Kemp

It provides a welcome change for some to resharpen their nails for the next round of hand bag swinging and Christian bashing Lol. Also, as we cannot influence our politicians to protect our interests, peeing in the shower on ones feet, and peeing against the wind, in all truth, is much the same result, we get our own back, but, at least we find some welcome relief in the short term? .

By Highlander | 15 January 2013 3:48 PM

I think a lot of you are missing the point of weeing in the shower as you are having your shower anyway. Putting a permanent brick in the toilet or something like that saved water with every flush at our house when growing up in The Netherlands. That was before the time of nifty doulbe buttons, that leave you the choice of a half or whole flush. I have lived on the other side of the world since the last decade, in Australia, and watersaving is always on your mind here, I bet the Netherlands has not installed any rainwater tanks in anyone's backyard there yet...

By cari | 30 January 2013 8:01 AM

...that catches and uses rainwater for anything else than drinking. Grey water is used to drain onto the veggiepatch in very dry areas, naturally you have to make sure you use a degradeable washing liquid. (don't start talking about space, there are good options for smaller properties). If water gets low there are restristions on water useage like watering your garden, so we be smart with what plants to grow, native to your part of the country works well ;).

By cari | 30 January 2013 8:12 AM

...It's all in our mindset using what the world offers us in an efficient way. And apart from that, weeing in a public shower will help you against catching fungi (like tinea of which millions of people suffer) on your feet if you do not wear foot protection. A winner all round! Happy weeing in the shower everyone and let's all team together to see the big picture of just supporting this world the best way we can for as long as the earth will last!

By cari | 30 January 2013 8:15 AM

...o, and by the way, a shower together with your partner also saves water, and the smell of wee in the shower from your "other half" only lasts a few seconds for those disgusted about that thought (and if anything, like others mentioned, weeing in the shower keeps the drain much clearer from mould ;) ).

By cari | 30 January 2013 8:25 AM

I guess for some it is not a matter of saving a "penny", but a sole matter of self sufficient survival where water is scarce, for some of you to think "extreme" where there are people that do not have a toilet or shower hardly even wee, as they have hardly enough to just drink. Humbleness in seeing the blessing of what you have, will hopefully open your eyes to be thankful for all the good things that come your way and be a bit more broad minded. Enough said! Now put it into practise.

By cari | 30 January 2013 9:09 AM

All the above notwithstanding, I did this and my girlfriend (an American) went bats**t. She made it quite clear that if I ever wanted to have sex again I would not be repeating this experiment!

By Nika | 30 January 2013 12:58 PM

this is plain ridiculous and unacceptable, everyday soceity and religion both command hygeine yet pee on the floor is not my idea of that....

many things are easier said than done, why cant we use rain water collected tanks (which is filtered) for flushing ...

By jane | 30 January 2013 3:16 PM

I prefer the side of a tree. Confuses the hell out of the dogs when they get a sniff of it.

By Dr Ponzi | 30 January 2013 3:30 PM

Wow, look at all the comments. You'd think this article was about the wiet pass :P

By Stupid | 30 January 2013 9:58 PM

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