Showerhead Microbiome Project Participants
Thank you for your willingness to participate in the Showerhead Microbiome Project. Your assistance is critical to this research – the first comprehensive investigation of what microbes we are exposed to every time we take a shower.
The next steps are to formally sign up for the project (and fill out a consent form which ensures that you consent to swabbing your showerhead and answering a few questions). Once you have filled out the online form you will then be sent a sampling kit with everything you need for the sampling. Once you get the sampling kit, the whole process should take no more than 20 minutes of your time. In addition to collecting swab samples from your showerhead for microbial analyses, we will ask you to take a few simple measurements of your shower water chemistry and fill out a brief questionnaire/datasheet.
Your involvement in the project will cost you nothing (except for your time). We will send you a pre-paid, pre-addressed envelope so you can send back your questionnaire/datasheet and the swab sample to the University of Colorado.
We will send you regular updates on the status of the project and project results. We will also provide you with information on how your water chemistry compares to all the other homes included in the study and what microbes we found in your showerhead. Please be patient – science is a slow process so it make take us awhile to return your results. Think months or even as long as a year. If all of this could be done in a few days, well, someone would have already done it and this project wouldn’t tell us anything new. Science is built on wonderful ideas, carefully gathered data, delayed gratification and then, and then, that wonderful joy when it all comes together in the end.
SOME SHOWERHEADS WON’T WORK
To participate in this work, you need to be able to unscrew your showerhead and sample the biofilm (microbial ‘slime’) within. For this reason, you need to have access to a ‘regular’ showerhead that looks similar to those shown on the left, not a hand-held unit like those shown on the right, as these can be difficult to access. Please do not sign up if you only have a hand-held showerhead or if you are nervous about unscrewing your showerhead.