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Save water, shower with a bureaucrat?
Tom Purcell
Tom Purcell

If you’re like me, you enjoy few things more than a long, hot shower.

Nothing loosens the muscles or washes your worries away better than gradually turning up the hot knob until you’re red as a boiled lobster.

Unfortunately, the Biden administration intends to re-enact a federal regulation that will limit my ability to enjoy my daily hot shower in the name of water conservation.

I’ve long taken my daily shower for granted — as sort of an unwritten Constitutional amendment — but I was unaware that it’s a luxury that has only been around a couple hundred years.

According to the website Amusing Planet, in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia only the very wealthy could enjoy showers. They had their slaves pour jugs of hot water on them from above.

The first “modern” shower was not invented until the late 1700s by an English stove and heater manufacturer named William Feetham.

“His contraption consisted of a basin, where the bather stood, and an overhanging water tank,” reports Amusing Planet.

“The bather used a hand pump to pump water from the basin to the tank, and then pulled a chain to dump all the water at the same time over his head. The process was then repeated.”

It wouldn’t be until the water heater was invented in 1889 that the hot shower as we know it became more practical.

All I know is that by the time I was a kid in the ‘70s, the daily shower was a regular part of American life. There was no need for the federal government to monitor how much water we were using.

Our mother did that.

My poor sisters sported the Farrah Fawcett shag haircut that was popular at the time. Washing and conditioning their long locks required lots of shower time, which meant high water and heating bills — until my mother found the master shut-off valve.

If any of us went one second over our allotted time limit, off the water would go.

Nowadays, we have the federal “mother” limiting our water intake — which is why a crazy showerhead debate is raging in Washington.

According to The Hill, the Biden administration’s shower regulators intend to propose a rule reinstating the Obama administration’s 2013 definition of “showerhead,” which the Trump administration had changed to allow more hot water to flow upon America’s tired and groggy heads.

In 2013, you see, President Obama’s environmentally conscious shower bureaucrats had classified a “showerhead” as a single entity, regardless of the number of nozzles it had.

They decreed that each showerhead must be limited to 2.5 gallons per minute (GPM), but Trump’s showerhead officials wanted to apply the 2.5 GPM limitation to each individual nozzle on a showerhead, not the entire showerhead.

A showerhead with four nozzles, then, could allow 10 gallons of water to flow per minute — which is shower Heaven or Hell, depending on which side of the issue you are on.

If you like the freedom to choose among hundreds of innovative showerhead options, including options that limit water flow and cost, you’ll want the Trump rule to remain.

But if you want the power of the federal government to control how much water and energy every American is permitted to consume, you’ll want the Biden administration to reverse the Trump rule.

Whatever your position on the showerhead issue, one thing is for sure: The federal government has got so meddlesome, you can’t even take a shower without it joining in.

Tom Purcell is an author and humor columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Email him at