For area measurements in water/wastewater operations, three basic shapes are particularly important—namely, circles, rectangles, and triangles. Area is the amount of surface an object contains or the amount of material it takes to cover the surface. The area on top of a chemical tank is called the surface area. The area of the end of a ventilation duct is called the cross-sectional area (the area at right angles to the length of ducting). Area is usually express in square units, such as square inches (in.2) or square feet (ft2). Land may also be expressed in terms of square miles (sections) or acres (43,560 ft2) or in the metric system as hectares.

A rectangle is a two-dimensional box. The area of a rectangle is found by multiplying the length (L) times width (W) (see Figure 3.4).

Figure 3.4 Area of rectangle.

Figure 3.5 Rectangle for Example 3.45.

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