The effects of gold-medal hockey on Edmonton, Canada water usage


I feel a great disturbance in the public utility, as if millions of bladders cried out, and were suddenly silenced.

Pats Papers: What If Everybody in Canada Flushed at Once?

(Thanks, Christina!)



  1. Anyone who’s ever worked in sewage treatment in Canada would recognize that as a typical Saturday night inflow graph.

  2. Given the areas above and below the average curve, it would appear that hockey is a good way to reduce overall water use.

    1. Good point. My first thought on looking at it was “area above << area below!” Weird. I would have expected beer drinking and hockey watching to cause an increase. Does this mean that limiting people from using the toilet except for maybe 15 minutes in every 45, we’d save vast quantities of water? Or is there hidden area under the graph before and after the game, or maybe even in preceding days, that makes up for it? Looks like there was a lot done in the pre-game prep: people getting laundry and dish-washing done early so they could relax and watch, maybe. But the post-game peak died fast.

  3. I’m sure the water usage graph for US cities during the Super Bowl is even more impressive!

  4. But water usage only dropped by 20%. I’m disappointed by all those people who weren’t watching the game. Shame on them!

  5. I’m proudly aggregated into the end-of-third peak! In a sense, I guess you could say my urine has made it to BoingBoing. Hooray?

  6. It’s good that this was all recycled by piping it over the border straight into a Budweiser plant.

  7. I read that about 50% of the Canadian population watched the whole game, and about 80% tuned in at some point. From anecdotal evidence in Edmonton, this seems about right. I’d be surprised if even the Super Bowl reaches that level of attention.

    1. No, you’ve got it all wrong, it’s the dips! The spikes are far to delayed from the onset of the game for causality. You have made a basic statistical error which invalidates your premise!

  8. I’ll never understand why everyone gets so worked up about a stupid pastime like this. I’m Canadian, I’m an adult male, yet all I hear about is how I’m a freak ’cause I don’t use water. Well, water sucks: drinking water; dish water; bath water; all of it. This stereotypical crap shouldn’t end up on Boing Boing!

    (Hockey’s pretty cool, though.)

  9. Many years ago, when the Redskins were at the Superbowl, I examined the waste-water flows on a large trunk sewer line to see if I could detect the Half Time Flush.

    Sadly, I didn’t see the bump. The problem is that the flow took between a few minutes to several hours to make it from the various parts of the line. The pulse was averaged out because of the various delays for the flow to get to the metering vault.

    On the other hand, our water consumption calculations probably would detect such an event. Sadly, we didn’t have sufficient instrumentation to make calculations like that back then.

    If the Redskins ever make it to the Superbowl, I’ll gather the data and post it for your viewing amusement. Unfortunately, the way things are going that may take a few years…

  10. Hrm. The “Much smaller” double-angled-bracket leads to truncation of the paragraph. Either that, or I accidentally deleted after that before submitting, which might happen.

    Good point. My first thought on looking at it was “area above << area below”. Test2: this paragraph as written contains sixteen words << half of them are after the angled braces.

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