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1998-06-10 10:02:13


Sewers: Up the Creek Without a Paddle


This was posted on Peter de Jager's forum. It describes the date/time calculations necessary for disposing sewage.

I used to live in Mahattan Beach, California. The next town north is El Segundo. There resides an outflow system for Los Angeles' sewage. Once in a while, we could smell it, or thought we could.

After reading this, I'm glad I moved.

* * * * * * * * *

Date: Wed, 10 Jun 1998

From: "Huggins, Paul P"

Subject: Re: Embedded Systems: Water, Sewer, Traffic


An outflow system allows sewage or waste to flow into river/sea one hour either side of high tide. The system uses a controller linked to a PC that has a tide table of the form dd/mm/yy. The computer looks at its system date then checks this against the tide table to see when it should stop the flow.

The language the system is written in has a bug which means that the year 2000 is represented as 100. Come one hour after high-tide on 1/1/2000 there system checks for a match against 1/1/100. It can't find such a match and therefore remains open...........


Paul Huggins

Year 2000 Project Co-ordinator

BHP Petroleum ERAME

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