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Conversion factor: Wikis


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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.

  1. redirect Conversion of units


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