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Oct 14, 2014 04:13 AM EDT

UEA Students Urge Public to Pee in Shower to Save Water

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In an attempt to conserve water for underprivileged communities, two English college students at the University of East Anglia have come up with a unique campaign that would save nearly 200 million gallons of water a year.

The Go with the Flow campaign, the brainchild of Debs Torr and Chris Dobson, urges the school's 15,000 students to pee in the shower every morning.

The 20-year-old Dobson said that if on-campus students took up the challenge, they would "save enough water to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool 26 times," BBC reports. It would also save 18 million gallons of flush water a year and $230,000 a year for the University.

"Imagine how big an impact it could have if we could get everyone in East Anglia, or even the UK, to change their morning habits. The campaign has been really divisive - people either seem to love it or hate it," said Dobson.

Students are offered gift certificates/vouchers as incentives upon signing up for the campaign. The campaign is part of the npower Future Leaders Challenge, which encourages students to create environmentally friendly projects.

Torr and Dobson said that students should take up the challenge in consultation and agreement with mates in their dorm. "We would encourage that every person using the same shower consents to the challenge and if not that they don't take part," said Dobson.

The students consulted with a professor about potential health risks associated with communal showers. The professor assured that the campaign won't cause illness.

"As long as the water is flowing there is no hygiene risk as urine is sterile...Urine is nontoxic, unless you have an infection (in which case you should probably get yourself checked out). Combined with the shower water flowing down the drain, there is really no risk to health or hygiene," the students said, Metro reports.

However, a study authored by Evann Hilt states that urine is not actually sterile.

Hilt, a graduate student at Loyola University, took urine samples from 84 women. The urine of healthy bladders had 33 types of bacteria, whereas overactive bladders showed 77 different kinds of bacteria. Hilt said these bacteria could be found elsewhere in the body, Today reports.

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