A factor is something that brings results or a cause, while conversion is an action of changing the "version" of a thing. Hence, a conversion factor changes something to a different version or form.
In Mathematics, specifically Algebra, a Conversion Factor is used to convert a measured quantity to a different unit of measure without changing the amount. To accomplish this, a ratio (fraction) is established that equals one (1).
24 hrs/1 day = 1 or 43,560 square feet/1 acre = 1 ...1/1=1 and a/a=1 and b/b=1
Note: If a=b, then a/b=1 and b/a=1
Common Conversion Factors for Water and Wastewater
1 day = 24 hours = 1440 minutes, therefore 15 minutes (1 day/1440 minutes)= 0.01 days
1 million gallons per day (MGD) = 3.069 acre feet per day (ac-ft/day) = 1.55 cubic feet per second (cfs) = 694 gallons per minute (gpm)
1 gallon = 3785 milliliters = 3.785 liters = 8.34 pounds
Ex. 1: 55 gallons of water (8.34 pound/1 gallon) = 458.7 pounds Ex. 2: a hose running 20 gpm for 1 day (1440 minutes/1 day) = 28,800 gallons Ex. 3: a one ton truck can carry 2000 pounds (1 gallon/8.34 pounds) = 240 gallons
Conversion Factors are fractions with a factor of one, where the numerator and denominator are measurements of a quantity measured by different units.