|Reviewing Old Concepts in the New Year
Keeping your math skills fresh may help with daily tasks
by Breanna Detwiler, Communications Director (RCAP)
For some of us math is a distant memory. Our least favorite class that we trudged through in order to graduate. But despite those bad memories, math is part of the daily job of a water operator. It’s also the #1 thing that operators and aspiring operators fail on the certification exam. Whether you are working towards certification or already operating a system, reviewing math concepts, such as fractions, conversion factors, percentages, area, and volume, will keep your system operating at its best. Operators with a strong math foundation are better able to make split second decisions and determine proper treatment in a moment’s notice.
Worried you are bad at math? Don’t be! You probably know and remember much more than you think.
Let’s review a concept together:
Conversions are essential to making sense of units that don’t match up. You might find that you purchase a chemical that’s measured in liters instead of the fluid ounces needed for application. Or you might need to calculate the number of gallons in a tank using its dimensions, which requires a conversion from cubic feet to gallons. Conversions can help you make sense of these issues.
Some conversions are weight to volume/volume to units, such as:
1 gallon = 8.34 pounds 1 cubic foot = 7.48 gallons
1 PSI = 2.31 feet head 1 gallon = 231 cubic inches
1 cu. ft. = 62.4 pounds 1 acre-feet = 325,851 gallons
Say you need to determine how much 4 gallons of water weighs in pounds. Since we know 1 gallon= 8.34 pounds we can set up the following equation.
4 gallons x 8.34 pounds =
Our gallons cancel out so we’re just left with pounds.
4 gallons x 8.34 pounds = 33.4 pounds
See, it’s simpler than you remember! For a whole table of formulas and conversions for water treatment click here.
This new year, take a little time to review some basic math concepts that are sure to make your work easier.