Back Pressure: Pressure that
can cause water to backflow into the water supply when a user's waste water
system is at a higher pressure than the public system.
Backflow: The flow of water
in a medium in a direction opposite to normal flow. Flow is often returned into
the system by backflow, if the wastewater in a purification system is severely
Backsiphonage: Reverse seepage
of water in a distribution system
Backwashing: Reversing the
flow of water through a home treatment device filter or membrane to clean and
small single-cell organisms, that reproduce by fission of spores.
water contamination: The introduction of unwanted
bacteria into a water body.
Barrage: Any artificial
obstruction placed in water to increase water level or divert it. Usually the
idea is to control peak flow for later release
Base: An alkaline substance
that has a pH that exceeds 7.5.
Bed Load: Sediment particles
resting on or near the channel bottom that are pushed or rolled along by the
flow of water.
use: The amount
of water necessary when reasonable intelligence and diligence are used for a
stated purpose; Texas law recognizes the following uses as beneficial: (1)
domestic and municipal uses, (2) industrial uses, (3) irrigation, (4) mining,
(5) hydroelectric power, (6) navigation, (7) recreation, (8) stock raising,
(9) public parks, and (10) game preserves.
zone: The lower
region of a body of water including the bottom.
Bicarbonates: Salts containing
the anion HCO3-. When acid is added, this ion breaks into H2O and CO2, and acts
as a buffer.
Binder: Chemicals that
hold short fibers together in a cartridge filter.
(bioconcentation): A term used to describe
a process that occurs when levels of toxic substances increase in an organism
over time, due to continued exposure.
Oxygen Demand (BOD): The amount of oxygen (measured
in mg/L) that is required for the decomposition of organic matter by single-cell
organisms, under test conditions. It is used to measure the amount of organic
pollution in wastewater.
Biocide: A chemical
that is toxic to microorganisms. Biocides are often used to eliminate bacteria
and other single-cell organisms from water.
Biodegradable: Capable of being
broken down by living organisms into inorganic compounds.
pollutants: Pollutants that are capable of decomposing under natural conditions.
of various microorganisms, trapped in a layer of slime and excretion products,
attached to a surface.
contaminants: Living organisms such as
viruses, bacteria, fungi, and mammal and bird antigens that can cause harmful
health effects to humans.
diversity (biodiversity): The variety of different
species, the genetic variability of each species, and the variety of different
ecosystems that they form.
of complex organic materials by microorganisms through oxidation.
activated carbon: Activated carbon that supports
active microbial growth, in order to aid in the degradation of organics that
have been absorbed on its surface and in its pores.
(biological magnification): A cumulative increase in
the concentrations of a persistent substance in successively higher levels of
the food chain.
Biomonitoring: A test used to
evaluate the relative potency of a chemical by comparing its effect on a living
organism with the effect of a standard population on the same type of organism
Bioremediation: A process that
uses living organisms to remove pollutants
Biosolids: A nutrient-rich
organic material resulting from the treatment of wastewater. Biosolids contain
nitrogen and phosphorus along with other supplementary nutrients in smaller
doses, such as potassium, sulfur, magnesium, calcium, copper and zinc. Soil
that is lacking in these substances can be reclaimed with biosolids use. The
application of biosolids to land improves soil properties and plant productivity,
and reduces dependence on inorganic fertilizers
Biosphere: The earth and
all its ecosystems
the plants, microorganisms, and animals of a certain area or region.
of a substance into other compounds by organisms; including biodegradation.
Blackwater: Wastewater from
toilet, latrine, and agua privy flushing and sinks used for food preparation
or disposal of chemical or chemical-biological ingredients
Blind spots: Any place on
a filter medium where fluids cannot flow through.
Blinding: A build-up
of particles in a filter medium, that prevents fluids from flowing through.
Blinds: Water samples
containing a chemical of known concentration given a fictitious company name
and slipped into the sample flow of the lab to test the impartiality of the
of charging on the basis of the volume of water used.
Blowdown: The water drawn
from boiler systems and cold water basins of cooling towers to prevent the buildup
BOD: Biochemical Oxygen
Demand. A measure of the amount of oxygen required to neutralize organic wastes
BOD5: The amount of
dissolved oxygen consumed in five days by bacteria that perform biological degradation
of organic matter.
Bog: A type of wetland
that accumulates appreciable peat deposits. It depends primarily on precipitation
for its water source and is usually acidic and rich in plant matter, with a
conspicuous mat or living green moss.
point: The temperature
at which a liquid boils. It is the temperature at which the vapor pressure of
a liquid equals the pressure on its surface. If the pressure of the liquid varies,
the actual boiling point varies. For water it is 212 degrees Fahrenheit or 100
that is sold in plastic containers for drinking water and/ or domestic use.
water: A river
or lake that is part of the boundary between two or more countries or provinces
that have rights to the water.
that is neither falls in the category of salt water, nor in the category of
fresh water. It holds the middle between either one of the categories.
chlorination: Addition of chlorine to
water until there is enough chlorine present for disinfection of water.
Breakthrough: Crack or break
in a filter bed that allows the passage of floc or particulate matter through
Brine: Highly salty
and heavily mineralized water containing heavy metal and organic contaminants.
Buffer: A substance that
reacts with hydrogen or hydroxyl ions in a solution, in order to prevent a change
Buoyancy: The tendency
of a body to float or rise when immersed in a fluid; the power of a fluid to
exert an upward force on a body placed in it.