Water usage mystery solved

By From page A10 | January 12, 2014

I checked out Bob Dunning’s theory about the cats turning the taps on at night by staying up with night-vision goggles watching our cats. They were not the culprits. So why does the monthly home water report from the city seem to be off by a factor of 3 or 4? I thought about it a bit and, being a computer programmer, I realized what the problem must be.

Apparently, the program that generates the report was originally developed by a firm based in England where they computed usage in liters per day. When they modified the program for use in the United States they changed the output to read gallons per day but forgot to apply the conversion factor to the computed number. The conversion factor is 3.785 liters per gallon. So if the report says you are using 900 gallons per day you are actually using 900 liters, which works out to 237 gallons per day.

Robert Walraven


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