Posts Tagged ‘water audit’

A water engineer babysits toddlers…

April 15, 2015 Leave a comment

My water bill came in. During the last billing period, we used 66 L/day more than we have ever used in the past. Over the 95 day billing period, that’s 6,270 L of water!


It would take two of these trucks to hold all the water my nephews consumed in 8 days. These trucks weigh 12.5 tonnes each. My nephews weigh less than 100 lbs combined. I’m going to start bringing them to fires.


At first I thought that there must be a leak. I checked the meter, no leak. Perhaps the volume was estimated? Nope, it was an actual read. Maybe they underestimated the previous period so this period was compensating? No.

Then I pondered what was different during this billing period… the nephews! We had the wife’s nephews over twice during that billing period for 4 days each time. I had to figure out how two wee toddlers could consume 6,000+ L of water:

  • I did 4 extra loads of laundry = 175 L x 4 = 700L
  • We didn’t have spare sippy cups etc so hand washing/rinsing those, rinsing toothbrushes and other running water tasks = 10 L / minute x 5 min/day x 8 days = 400 L
  • Input: They drank maybe 5 servings of water per kid per day = 250 mL x 5 x 2 x 8 = 20 L
  • Output: One toddler is toilet trained resulting in 6 L / flush x 8 flushes / day x 8 days = 384 L

At this point in the tally, we accounted for 1,504 L. That just left bathing. My wife was in charge of baths and she was looking pretty guilty. As it turns out, she bathed them twice a day at full volume. A standard tub can hold about 250 L so even assuming she only filled it to 225 L x 2 baths / day x 8 days = 3,600 L.

Now the total is 5,104 L. I still have over 1,000 L of water still unaccounted for. I suspect they are selling it to my neighbours while I’m at work. The guy across the road has been washing his truck a lot lately.

My wife is no longer in charge of baths. And the older child is going back in diapers.