Eli5: Detroit’s Central train station was recently restored by pumping out 3.5 million gallons of water out of the basement.

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Eli5: Were detroits rivers and lakes lower than they normally would be? Was there less rain because these gallons were missing from the atmosphere? Was there any affect at all in nature from these millions of gallons of water going missing?

“–3.5 million gallons (13.2 million liters) of water was pumped from the basement”

https://apnews.com/article/michigan-central-train-station-detroit-ford-mobility-49c55d18ee0b377fa54c70f389168639

In: Biology

8 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

On a geographic scale 13.2 million liters of water isn’t very much. It’s about 3 seconds worth of the Detroit river if I’ve done my math right.

Anonymous 0 Comments

> Were detroits rivers and lakes lower than they normally would be? Was there less rain because these gallons were missing from the atmosphere? Was there any affect at all in nature from these millions of gallons of water going missing?

The world is big. Way bigger than you think, apparently.

3.5 million gallons of water is about 5 Olympic-sized swimming pools. That is quite a lot of water to be in a basement but in the grand scheme of things it isn’t very much water at all. There is no measurable change to the environment from that being in a basement.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Are you actually 5? That’s like.. a drop in the bucket compared to a river, lake, or the atmosphere.

Anonymous 0 Comments

More than that flows over Niagara Falls at the other end of Lake Erie every minute.

3,160 tons of water flows over Niagara Falls every second. This accounts for 75,750 gallons of water per second over the American and Bridal Veil Falls and 681,750 gallons per second over the Horseshoe Falls.

Anonymous 0 Comments

For comparison, Lake Michigan (admittedly, a pretty big lake) contains about 10^15 gallons of water. That’s 1,000,000,000,000,000 or a quadrillion gallons. You’d need to pump out that basement roughly a billion times to equal that amount of water. And that’s just one lake. The Ogallala Aquifer is an underground reservoir of water stretching across a large part of the US Midwest region. It contains about 3 trillion gallons of water, or about a million times more water than this basement.

A few million gallons of water sounds like a lot (and it’s pretty wasteful if you watered your lawn with that much), but in a global or even regional sense it’s not even a drop in a bucket!

Anonymous 0 Comments

A few million gallons is not that much on the scale you’re asking about. For instance, the Mississippi River discharges somewhere in the neighborhood of 4.5 million gallons of water every second.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s not different at all. That’s like barely a drop in the bucket of anything.

Average output for wastewater plants in the US is around 2.1 million gallons per day. The Stickney Water Reclamation Plant(in Chicago) treats 700 million gallons a day and can handle 1.44 billion.

Detroit has one of the largest single plants in the world and can handle over half a billion gallons on a normal day.

3.5 million gallons is nothing.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Detroit is actually built near where the Rouge River, which carries a lot of rainwater from the southeast part of the state, meets the Detroit River and lake Erie. So water flows towards the area and sometimes floods roads and basements. This means slightly less water reaches Lake Erie. But 3.5 million gallons missing means a water level drop of .0012 mm, aka so little that I don’t think you could see it with the naked eye.