Glossary

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Alum (Aluminum Sulfate): Added in the drinking water treatment process causing particles to clump together and fall to the bottom of the settling basins.

Anthracite: A hard coal used in the drinking water treatment process to remove particles.

Aquifer: An underground layer of rock or soil that holds the water referred to as groundwater.

Chlorine: A liquid or gas chemical that is used as a disinfectant in the drinking water treatment process.

Coagulation: The process by which coagulant compounds are mixed into the water to neutralize electrical charges on small impurities and come together to form larger particles.

Condensation: The change of water from a gas to a liquid.

Contaminant: Anything added to a substance that makes it impure.

Disinfection: A chemical process used to kill any germs in the water.

Distribution System: The process by which water is sent from the treatment plant to homes and businesses.

Drought: A deficiency of precipitation over an extended period of time.

Evaporation: The process where water becomes vapor in the atmosphere.

Filtration: The process in which a liquid is passed through a filter to remove any dirt or impurities.

Floc: The large particles produced from coagulated particles binding together.

Fluoride: A compound that is sometimes added to drinking water in an effort to help prevent tooth decay.

Greywater: Domestic wastewater such as water from tubs, showers or washing machine water.

Groundwater: The water beneath the surface of the ground.

Hardness: A characteristic of water caused by mineral salts of magnesium and calcium.

Nonpoint Source Pollution: Pollution that cannot be traced to one specific location. It may include rainwater runoff or fertilizer from fields.

Ozone: A gas used in the water treatment disinfection process.

Percolate: Soaking of water through the soil.

pH: A measure of acidity and alkalinity of a solution, represented by a number on a scale.

Precipitation: Water in the form of rain, sleet, hail or snow.

Reservoir: A man-made lake that holds and stores water.

Residual Solids: Settled solids from the sedimentation segment of the treatment process.

Riparian Buffer: The green areas along the banks of streams, rivers, lakes and ponds. These areas are important for water quality, flood storage and cover and shade for plants and animals.

Runoff: The portion of rain that is not absorbed into the soil but flows into streams.

Sediment: A mineral or organic solid that is washed from the land into lakes, streams, or rivers.

Sedimentation: The process where solids suspended in water settle to the bottom of a basin.

Source: Where a stream or river begins.

Surface Water: Water located on the surface of land, such as rivers, lakes, and ponds.

Transpiration: The process whereby water vapor is given into the atmosphere by living plants.

Turbidity: The cloudy or muddy appearance of a naturally clear liquid caused by the suspension of particles.

Water Conservation: Protecting and preserving the amount of water you use.

Water Cycle: The process by which water renews itself.

Water Meter: A device that measures the quantity of water coming into your home or business.

Watershed: The area where water drains from the land into a common body of water, such as a river, lake or ocean.

Water Treatment: The process of cleaning water.

Well: A deep hole drilled in the ground to obtain water.

Xeriscaping: Landscaping technique designed to minimize the need for watering.