Tuesday, April 22, 2014

There can only be one answer!

I just received our monthly water bill for the period of mid-March to mid-April. It shows that we consumed (or at least had a quantity flow through our meter) that is almost exactly two times the amount used in the same period in 2013. To be precise, this year we sucked 262 gallons – to be fair, they were those smaller US gallons - out of the Mississippi River – every day! But, as glutton-like as that may seem, “Dat Ole Man River, he just kept rollin’ along!”  Plenty more water where it comes from, see?

Being the inquisitive bugger that I am, I thought a little analysis would be in order. Here is how that went – though by thought:

Number of occupants – that may be key.

Normally, there are two occupants in our house, but last year I was away on my Bucket-List Trip. So, with two times the occupants this year – naturally there would be two times the water consumption this year!  QED! Genius! Mystery solved!

But, hold on; let’s see exactly WHAT each of those two occupants DO with the water they each use – and if there were other contributory factors – and just WHO is the water-hog!   

Watering the lawn

Yes, that’s it!  We have one of those built-in sprinkler systems. 

But, wait!  We don’t turn that system on until mid-May. So, no! My theory that 'missus' got carried away with the 'hi-tech' watering method in my absence, will 'hold no water'. [Sorry!] 

For the garden activities, I do the lawn watering -

- leaving (as you were previously told) the more strenuous ‘mowing activity’ for my wife! So, as I was not here in March 2013, the lawn would have received less water than in March 2014.  QED & Genius (again), says, he.

Well, hold on!  It discovered that in March 2013, we had 3.6” of rainfall, but in March 2014, we had 5.4” - 150% of the 2013 amount. Naturally, the lawn should have needed less watering this year.  Must be some other cause!

Bathing – that’s it!

I have calculated that our bath-tub uses 60 gallons per dunking!  Two things of note here, then:

1)      a significant amount of that 260 gallon-per-day goes into the bath-tub, AND
2)       as I was not here in March 2013, you would think the bath-water usage this March would be double that of March last year. "Eureka!"  [Yes, Archimedes was sat in HIS bath-tub when HE shouted that]

Well, you would NOT think that if you realized that MY bath-tub water consumption is significantly less than that of my wife’s 'every-other-day-bubble-bath'. I mean, I DO take a bath the obligatory 'every-other- Saturday-night–whether-I-need-it-or-not' plunge into the tub:

- and I certainly do not fill it so full as she; bigger body, greater displacement; that Archimedes thing again, see?  When I was younger, my family was able to get by with the aid of one of those galvanized tin-tubs on the kitchen floor in front of the fireplace. That would be a scary sight now with so many family members dropping in unannounced! 

Also, my wife's 'lavish-and-lengthydaily shower uses a lot more water (longer hair for one thing) than my ‘every-Wednesday-whether-needed-or-not' quick swill under a water-saving ‘Navy’ shower head.

So, given my relatively small 'bathing-water footprint', there must be some other reason why this year’s usage is up from last year's, when I was 'not-bathing' - in other people's houses! .

The clothes washer - yes; dirty clothes!

In the days before Maytag and Whirlpool, such things were simply called ‘Wife and Mangle’:

That’s it – 2 people this year, twice the dirty clothes being washed. Bingo! QED again!

Whilst it is true that I tend to get my clothes in a bigger mess than my wife does – [so she spills less of her food down the front of herself, big deal] – I more than compensate on washing machine water conservation. How? I hide my socks and underwear from her so that I can turn them inside out every 4th day and get a single pair to last a whole week before needing a wash!  

But, wait! I was not at home in March 2013 and my meager laundry usage measures in March 2014 would have caused that comparison to have ‘been a wash’ – sorry; I just could not resist that pun! 

                                                                        ? ? ?  

OK then. There must be more to this mystery! Let’s see, just WHAT is it that I do more so than my wife does – by way of water usage? 

Aha!  I just KNEW there was a reason why my damned water bill was so much more this March than last year when I was not at home. Never mind Q and ED and D – the answer is elsewhere in the alphabet – P.

It is those pesky, frequent trips to ‘the loo’ in the middle of the night! I have been flushing my savings down the drain each night, 1 gallon at a time, several times each night, along with my pee !

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