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Water glossary



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Water Glossary - F

  • Facultative bacteria: Bacteria that can live under aerobic or anaerobic conditions.

  • Faucet aerator: Device that can be installed in a sink to reduce water use.

  • Fecal coliform: The portion of the coliform bacteria group which is present in the intestinal tracts and feces of warm-blooded animals. A common pollutant in water.

  • Fen: A type of wetland that accumulates peat deposits. Fens are less acidic than bogs, deriving most of their water from groundwater rich in calcium and magnesium.

  • Fermentation: The conversion of organic matter to methane, carbon dioxide and other molecules by anaerobic bacteria.

  • Fermentation, anaerobic: Process in which carbohydrates are converted in the absence of oxygen to hydrocarbons (such as methane).

  • Field capacity: The amount of water held in soil against the pull of gravity.

  • Filter: A device used to remove solids from a mixture or to separate materials. Materials are frequently separated from water using filters.

  • Filter medium: The permeable material that separates solids from liquids passing through it.

  • Filtrate: A liquid that has passed through the filter medium.

  • Filtration: The mechanical process which removes particulate matter by separating water from solid material, usually by passing it through sand.

  • First draw: The water that comes out when a tap is first opened. It is likely that is has the highest level of lead contamination from weathering of pipelines.

  • First in time, first in right: Sentence indicating that older water rights have priority over more recent rights if there is not enough water to satisfy all rights.

  • Fission: Reproduction of microorganisms by means of cell division.

  • Fixed ground water: Water held in saturated material that it is not available as a source of water for pumping.

  • Floc: A flocculent mass that is formed in the accumulation of suspended particles. It can occur naturally, but is usually induced in order to be able to remove certain particles from wastewater.

  • Flocculation: Large scale treatment process involving gentle stirring whereby small particles in flocs are collected into larger particles so their weight causes them to settle to the bottom of the treatment tank.

  • Flood: The temporary inundation of normally dry land areas resulting from the overflowing of the natural or artificial confines of a river or other body of water.

  • Flood damage: The economic loss caused by floods, including damage by inundation, erosion, and/or sediment deposition. Damages also include emergency costs and business or financial losses. Evaluation may be based on the cost of replacing, repairing, or rehabilitating; the comparative change in market or sales value; or the change in the income or production caused by flooding.

  • Flood forecasting: Prediction of stage, discharge, time of occurrence, and duration of a flood, especially of peak discharge at a specified point on a stream, resulting from precipitation and/or snowmelt.

  • Flood fringe: The portion of the floodplain where water depths are shallow and velocities are low.

  • Flood irrigation: Irrigation systems that control the water table with lateral supply ditches. These include open field ditch systems (furrows), semi-closed conveyance systems, subsurface conduit systems, crown flood systems, and continuous flood systems. Also includes seepage or subsurface irrigation systems. The efficiencies of these flood irrigation systems range from 20 to 80 percent, however, an average of 60 percent is commonly used for estimating water requirements. May also be referred to as subsurface irrigation.

  • Flood peak: The highest magnitude of the stage of discharge attained by a flood. Also called peak stage or peak discharge.

  • Floodplain: Any normally dry land area that is susceptible to being inundated by water from any natural source. This area is usually low land adjacent to a stream or lake.

  • Floodproofing: Any combination of structural and nonstructural additions, changes, or adjustments to structures that reduce or eliminate flood damage.

  • Floodway: The channel of a river or stream and those parts of the adjacent floodplain adjoining the channel that are required to carry and discharge the base flood.

  • Flora: Plant population of a region.

  • Flotation: A solids-liquid or liquid-liquid separation procedure, which is applied to particles of which the density is lower than that of the liquid they are in. there are three types: natural, aided and induces flotation.

  • Flow: The rate of water discharged from a source; expressed in volume with respect to time, e.g., cubic meter/s, liter per minute (Lpm).

  • Flow augmentation: The addition of water to a stream, especially to meet instream flow needs.

  • Flux: The rate at which a Reverse Osmosis Membrane allows water to pass through it.

  • Food chain: A sequence of organisms, each of which uses the next, lower member of the sequence as a food source.

  • Food web: The complex intermeshing of individual food chains in an ecosystem.

  • Forbay: The water behind a dam.

  • Forfeited water right: A water right canceled because of several consecutive years of nonuse.

  • Fouling: The deposition of organic matter on the membrane surface, which causes inefficiencies.

  • Fragmentation: The subdivision of a solid in fragments. The fragments will then adhere to the nearest surface.

  • Free groundwater: Water in interconnected pore spaces in the zone of saturation down to the first impervious barrier, moving under the control of the water table slope.

  • Freezing: The change of a liquid into a solid as temperature decreases. For water, the freezing point is 32 f or 0oC.

  • Fresh: salt water interface or the region where fresh water and salt water meet. In the edwards region, it is commonly referred to as the "bad water line", although it is a zone and not a line.

  • Freshwater: Water that contains less than 1,000 milligrams per liter (mg/L) of dissolved solids; generally, more than 500 mg/L of dissolved solids is undesirable for drinking and many industrial uses.

  • Frost: A covering of minute ice crystals on a cold surface.

  • Furrow diking: Water-saving agricultural irrigation practice in which a long, narrow groove or trench is made in the earth by a plow. The dike is usually placed at one end of the field to collect runoff.

Water glossary