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ABSOLUTE  look up translate image
Used most frequently to describe micron-size rating of water filters. An absolute five micron filter is one that will trap virually all particles five microns and larger in size. See also Nominal.
ABSOLUTE FILTER RATING  look up translate image
Filter rating meaning that 99.9% (or essentially all) of the particles larger than a specific micron rating will be trapped on or within the filter.
ABSORBENT  look up translate image
A substance which has the capacity to adsorb.
ABSORPTION  look up translate image
The process of one substance actually penetrating into the structure of another substance. This is different from adsorption in which one substance adheres to the surface of another.
ACCUMULATION TANK  look up translate image
A vessel or tank, which receives and stores product water for use on demand.
ACID  look up translate image
A substance, which releases hydrogen ions when dissolved in water. Most acids will dissolve the common metals and will react with a base to form a neutral salt and water. An acid is the opposite of an alkali, has a pH rating lower than 7.0, will turn litmus paper red and has a sour taste.
ACID DEMAND  look up translate image
A measure of the amount of acid required to reduce pH to a predetermined level.
ACIDITY  look up translate image
The quantitative capacity of a water or water solution to neutralize an alkali or base. It is usually measured by titration with a standard solution of sodium hydroxide, and expressed in ppm or mg/L of its calcium carbonate equivalent.
ACIDS  look up translate image
Chemicals that are low in pH.
ACTION LEVEL  look up translate image
The level of lead or copper which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements that a water system must follow.
ACTIVATED ALUMINA  look up translate image
A medium made by treating aluminum ore so that it becomes porous and highly adsorptive. Activated alumina will remove several contaminants including fluoride, arsenic and selenium. This medium requires periodic cleaning and appropriate reagent such as alum, acid and or/caustic.
ACTIVATED CARBON  look up translate image
A water treatment medium, found in block, granulated, or powder form, which is produced by heating carbonaceous substances (bituminous coal or cellulose-based substance such as wood or coconut shell) in the absence of air, creating a highly porous adsorbent material.
ACTIVATED SILICA  look up translate image
A negatively charged colloidal substance generally formed by combining a dilute sodium silicate solution with a dilute acidic solution (or other activant). Generally used as a coagulant aid.
ACTIVATED SLUDGE  look up translate image
Sludge that has undergone flocculation forming a bacterial culture typically carried out in tanks. Can be extended with aeration. See Extended Aeration.
ACUTE HEALTH EFFECT  look up translate image
An immediate (i.e. within hours or days) effect that may result from exposure to certain drinking water contaminants (e.g., pathogens).
ADSORBATE  look up translate image
Any substance that is or can be adsorbed. The liquid, gas or solid substance which is adsorbed as molecules, atoms, or ions.
ADSORBENT  look up translate image
A water treatment medium, usually solid, capable of the adsorption of liquids, gases, and/or suspended matter. Activated alumina and activated carbon are common adsorbents used in water processing.
ADSORBTION  look up translate image
The process by which molecules or colloids physically adhere to the surfaces of solids. Filter carbon adsorbs organic chemicals.
ADSORPTION  look up translate image
The physical process occurring when liquids, gases or suspended matter adhere to the surface of, or in the pores of, an adsorbent medium. Adsorption is a physical process which occurs without chemical reaction.
ADVANCED PRIMARY TREATMENT  look up translate image
The use of special additives to raw wastewater to cause flocculation or clumping to help settling before the primary treatment such as screening.
ADVANCED WASTEWATER TREATMENT  look up translate image
Any advanced process used above and beyond the defacto typical minimum primary and secondary wastewater treatment.
AERATION  look up translate image
The process whereby water is brought into intimate contact with air by spraying or cascading, or air is brought into intimate contact with water by an air aspirator or by bubbling compressed air through the body of water. Both pressure (closed) aerators and open (gravity) aerators are used. Closed aeration is used chiefly for oxidation; open aeration for degassing.
AEROBIC  look up translate image
An action or process conducted in the presence of air, such as aerobic digestion of organic matter by bacteria.
AEROBIC WASTEWATER TREATMENT  look up translate image
Oxygen dependent wastewater treatment requiring the presence of oxygen for aerobic bacterial breakdown of waste.
AESTHETIC CONTAMINANTS  look up translate image
Characteristics of water which affects its taste, odor, color and appearance (and may affect the objects touched by the water) but which do not in themselves have any adverse health effects in otherwise potable water.
AGGRESSIVE WATER  look up translate image
A term usually applied to waters containing acid or oxygen which hasten corrosion (rusting).
AIR CHECK  look up translate image
A device which allows water, but not air, to pass through it. An air check is a typical component of a treatment system using a regenerant eductor.
AIR GAP  look up translate image
A clear vertical space through the free atmosphere between the lowest opening of any pipe or faucet conveying water or waste to a tank, plumbing fixture receptor, or other device and the flood level rim of the receptacle. An air gap is used to prevent cross connection between a water treatment device and a possible source of wastewater thereby preventing a reverse flow of water from the sewer into the water supply system. Without an air gap, such reverse flow could occur due to an increase in the...(more)
AIR STRIPPING  look up translate image
A treatment process that removes or "strips" VOCs from contaminated water. Air is forced through the water, causing the contaminants to escape to the atmosphere.
ALGAE  look up translate image
Single-celled or simple multi-celled organisms, commonly found in surface water, which produce their own food through photosynthesis. Excessive algae growth may cause the water to have undesirable odors or tastes and decay of algae can deplete the oxygen in the water.
ALKALI  look up translate image
A substance which creates a bitter taste and a slippery feel when dissolved in water and will turn litmus paper blue. An alkali has a pH greater than 7.0 and is the opposite of an acid. Highly alkaline waters tend to cause drying of the skin.
ALKALINITY  look up translate image
The quantitative capacity of water or water solution to neutralize an acid. It is usually measured by titration with a standard acid solution of sulfuric acid, and expressed in terms of its calcium carbonate equivalent. A moderate amount of Alkalinity in your water is desirable because it reduces the effect of corrosion. The EPA has not set a level for Alkalinity, but a level greater than 100 ppm is recommended.
ALKALINTY  look up translate image
The capacity of water to neutralize acids, a property imparted by the water's content of carbonates, bicarbonates, hydroxides, and occasionally borates, silicates, and phosphates. Alkaline fluids have a pH value over 7.
ALTERNATING SYSTEM  look up translate image
As in the pressure in the sewer system or the creation of a negative pressure in the water supply line. Local plumbing codes usually require the air gap to be twice the diameter of the inlet with a minimum width of 1 1/2 inches.
ALUM  look up translate image
The common name for aluminum sulfate [Al2 (SO4) x 14H2 O] which is often used as a coagulant in water treatment.
ALUMINUM  look up translate image
Aluminum can be found as a natural forming mineral or as a by product of water that is corrosive or aggressive. Aluminum in the water may cause a discoloration or cloudy appearance. The EPA maximum contaminant level for aluminum in water is 0.2 ppm.
AMOEBA  look up translate image
A single celled protozoan that is widely found in fresh and salt water. Some types of amoebas cause diseases such as amoebic dysentery.
ANAEROBIC  look up translate image
A condition in which there is no air or no available free oxygen.
ANAEROBIC ORGANISM  look up translate image
An organism that can thrive in the absence of oxygen (air), such as bacteria in a septic tank.
ANAEROBIC ORGANISMS  look up translate image
An organism that can strive in the absence of oxygen (air), such as bacteria in a septic tank.
Wastewater treatment in the absence of oxygen, anaerobic bacteria breakdown waste.
ANGSTROM UNIT  look up translate image
A unit of wavelength of light equal to .00001 millimeter or .0001 microns.
ANION  look up translate image
An ion with a negative charge.
ANION EXCHANGE  look up translate image
An ion exchange process in which anions in solution are exchanged for other anions from an ion exchanger. In demineralization, for example, bicarbonate, chloride, and sulfate anions are removed from solution in exchange for a chemically equivalent number of hydroxide anions from the anion exchange resin.
ANODE  look up translate image
The positive pole of an electrolytic system. The metal which goes into solution in a galvanic cell. Anodes of metals such as magnesium and zinc are sometimes installed in water heaters or other tanks to deliberately establish galvanic cells to control corrosion of the tank through the sacrifice of the anode.
ANOXIC  look up translate image
A biological environment that is deficient in molecular oxygen, but may contain chemically bound oxygen, such as nitrates and nitrites.
ANSI  look up translate image
Abbreviation for American National Standards Institute.
AQUEOUS  look up translate image
Containing water; watery.
AQUIFER  look up translate image
A natural water-bearing formation which is found below the surface of the earth.
ARTESIAN  look up translate image
Describes underground water trapped under pressure between layers of impermeable rock. An artesian well is one that taps artesian water.
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Water treatment terms
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Created on 2012-08-06 08:08:31
Number of terms 816
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    ACID A substance which releases hydrogen ions when dissolved in water. Most acids will dissolve the common metals, and will react with a base to form