One of the greatest things about living in Australia is the copious amount of sunshine the country receives in the summer months. During these months, you no doubt want to spend as much time as possible in your garden. But when you spend hours at a time in the blistering heat, you can become fatigued, so it is a great idea to install an outdoor shower so that you can cool off at a moment's notice. This is also an ideal feature if you have a garden pool, so that you can shower off the pool chemicals without having to go in and out of the house.
Before committing to a garden shower, however, there are some things to keep in mind.
Privacy. When you shower in your bathroom, you can lock the door, pull down the blinds and feel confident that you are showering in privacy. An outdoor shower is not so simple, particularly if you live in a suburban area with lots of houses around. This means that you'll need to install a robust shower screen that gives you privacy and can stand up to outdoor conditions. Growing bamboo around a shower screen is actually a great idea because it can act as a living shower screen that gets taller and taller. Bamboo is also a natural material that will stay in keeping with the natural surroundings of your garden, and it doesn't attract insects.
Plumbing. Plumbing for an outdoor shower doesn't have to be any more complicated than an indoor shower. You should, however, check with local building codes to ensure that your drainage system for the outdoor shower meets local standards. When shampoo and soap goes into the water, it needs to be drained and collected in an ecologically responsible way so as not to cause damage to the environment.
Materials. You'll also need to consider the construction materials carefully because materials that are perfect for an indoor environment might not be able to stand up to an intense rainstorm or intense sunshine. Wooden shower enclosures can be used, but sealant needs to be applied to protect the wood against rot, mould, mildew and insects – there is, therefore, an ongoing maintenance cost implication. Something like vinyl is very affordable, robust and can stand up to the elements. This is, however, not the most environmentally friendly material, and the production of this material can release poisonous toxins into the atmosphere.