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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Chinese Water Torture... In My Kitchen

Sunday night I was trying to watch Adventures in Babysitting for the first time since 1988, but the drip from my kitchen faucet kept distracting me. I started wondering exactly how much water I was losing, so I set the timer on my phone for one minute and started counting. (This made perfect sense to me, but apparently not everyone is as interested in their drips!) After only 30 seconds, I had already reached 65 drips! I figured that was a substantial enough number to constitute a good sample and so I multiplied by two. (I explain my tangential methodology in order to remark on how similarly counting drips compares to calculating a pulse rate. I find it oddly apt: The health of my kitchen sink is at risk!)

130 drips in just one minute! That equals 187,200 drips in one day--a number thatseems awfully high to me. I found this nifty drip calculator over at the US Geological Survey's website and got down to some number-crunching. They use an estimated value of 1 drip =1/4 mL. So,
130 drips=1 minute...
7,800 drips=60 minutes...
187,200 drips=24 hours
Divide by 4 to get milliliters...
46,800 milliliters lost in 24 hours!
I saved myself a little time and used a metric to non-metric converter to discover that I am losing 12.36 gallons of water in just one day. Now THAT's a lot of water!

Just in case you're worried, my faucet was fixed Monday morning!

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