Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Angela, a parent:

A rectangular tank is 80 ft long, 30 ft wide, and 20 ft deep. If 100,000 gallons of water were pumped into the tank, what would be the water rise?


The conversion fact you need is that there are 231 cubic inches in a US gallon and hence I would start by converting the dimensions from feet to inches. The tank is 80 × 12 = 960 inches long and 30 × 12 = 360 inches long. If this results in a rise of r inches what is the volume of this rectangular layer of new water being added. Set this equal to 231 × 100,000 = 23,100,000 cubic inches and solve for r.


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