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‘Flush factor’ identifies greatest AFL Grand Final of the last decade

Melbourne Water has today released water consumption figures for the last 10 AFL Grand Finals in an attempt to settle a perennial pub footy debate – what is the greatest AFL Grand Final of the last decade?

According to Melbourne Water data, on AFL Grand Final day, large spikes in water usage are recorded at key breaks in the game due to delayed toilet flushing. As a result, it appears that the more engrossing the game, the greater the spike in water usage/toilet visits at key breaks in play.

Known as the “flush factor”, this data has been used to rank the greatest AFL Grand Finals of the last ten years according to the size of the water consumption spike recorded year-on-year.

Using this metric, a clear winner has emerged – the Western Bulldogs’ victory over the Sydney Swans in the 2016 Grand Final.

Colin Neathercoat, Manager, Public Affairs, Melbourne Water, said according to its data, AFL Grand Final day consistently delivered unusual water consumption patterns when compared with other days throughout the year and as a result, allowed it to accurately assess the level of fan engagement across each of the last 10 finals.

“Ahead of Saturday’s 2018 AFL Grand Final, we dived into our data archives to get a better picture of water usage rates recorded throughout the last 10 Grand Finals and to examine Melbourne-based AFL supporters’ willingness to “hold on” for a break in play,” Mr Neathercoat said.  

“The results are resounding with the Bulldogs’ 2016 Grand Final victory emerging as a convincing winner followed by Collingwood’s draw with the Sydney Swans in 2010, and the Swans’ 2012 final win.

“According to our data, the Bulldogs’ epic victory over the Swans in 2016 gripped the city as it gritted its collective teeth and remained firmly on its couches, engrossed by the unfolding drama. However, during Hawthorn's easy win over the West Coast Eagles in 2015, Melburnians were more than happy to miss a few minutes of the action whenever the call of nature arose,” Mr Neathercoat concluded.

Melbourne Water’s “Flush Factor” data for the last 10 AFL Grand Finals:

Rank

Teams

Year

Flush Factor (% change in water flow)

1

Western Bulldogs def Sydney

2016

101%

2

Collingwood St Kilda Draw

2010

51%

3

Sydney def Hawthorn

2012

39%

4

Geelong def St Kilda

2009

35%

5

Hawthorn def Geelong

2008

30%

6

Richmond def Adelaide

2017

29%

7

Hawthorn def Fremantle

2013

29%

8

Geelong def Collingwood

2011

28%

9

Collingwood def St Kilda

2010

18%

10

Hawthorn def West Coast Eagles

2015

16%