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Water glossary



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Water Glossary - M

  • Makeup water: Water added to the flow of water used to cool condensers in electric power plants. This new water replaces condenser water lost during passage of the cooling water through cooling towers or discharged in blowdowns.

  • ariculture: Cultivation of fish and shellfish in estuarine and coastal areas. Compare aquiculture.

  • Marsh: A type of wetland that does not accumulate appreciable peat deposits and is dominated by herbaceous vegetation. Marshes may be either fresh water or saltwater and tidal or non-tidal.

  • Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL): The maximum level of a contaminant allowed in water by federal law. Based on health effects and currently available treatment methods.

  • Mechanical aeration: Use of mechanical energy to inject air into water to cause a waste stream to absorb oxygen.

  • Mechanical flotation: A term used in the mineral industry to describe the use of dispersed air to produce bubbles that measure 0.2 to 2 mm in diameter.

  • Media: Materials that form a barrier to the passage of certain suspended solids or dissolved liquids in filters.

  • Median streamflow: The rate of discharge of a stream for which there are equal numbers of greater and lesser flow occurrences during a specified period.

  • Medium-size water system: A water system that serves 3,300 to 50,000 customers.

  • Megawatt: A unit of electricity equivalent to 1000 kilowatts.

  • Melting: The changing of a solid into a liquid.

  • Meltwater: Water that comes from the melting ice of a glacier or a snowbank.

  • Membrane: A thin barrier that allows some compounds or liquids to pass through, and troubles others. It is a semi-permeable skin of which the pass-through is determined by size or special nature of the particles. Membranes are commonly used to separate substances.

  • Mermaid: A fabled marine creature usually represented as having the head, trunk, and arms of a woman and a lower part like the tail of a fish.

  • Mesotrophic: Reservoirs and lakes which contain moderate quantities of nutrients and are moderately productive in terms of aquatic animal and plant life.

  • Metabolize: Conversion of food, for instance soluble organic matter, to cellular matter and gaseous by-products through a biological process.

  • Meteoric water: New water derived from the atmosphere.

  • Metering: Use of metering equipment that can provide essential data for charging fees based on actual customer use.

  • Method blank: Laboratory grade water taken through the entire analytical procedure to determine if samples are being accidentally contaminated by chemicals in the lab.

  • MFS: Micro Filtration System, it serves full automatic solid/ liquid separation.

  • Microbial growth: The multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, algae, diatoms, plankton, and fungi.

  • Micrograms per liter: Micrograms per liter of water. One thousands micrograms per liter is equivalent to 1 milligram per liter. This measure is equivalent to parts per billion (ppb).

  • Micro-irrigation: Irrigation systems that apply water directly to, or very near, the soil surface, either above the ground or into the air, in discrete drops, continuous drops, small streams, mist, or sprays. These include drip systems, spray systems, jet systems, and bubbler systems. Also referred to as drip, low pressure or low volume irrigation. The efficiencies of these micro-irrigation systems range from 75 to 95 percent, however, an average of 80 percent is commonly used for estimating water requirements.

  • Micron: A unit to discribe a measure of length, equal to one millionth of a metre.

  • Microorganisms: Organisms that are so small that they can only be observed through a microscope, for instance bacteria, fungi or yeasts.

  • Migration: The movement of oil, gas, contaminants, water, or other liquids through porous and permeable rock.

  • Milligrams per liter - mg/L: Milligrams per liter of water. This measure is equivalent to parts per million (ppm).

  • Million gallons per day (Mgal/d): A rate of flow of water.

  • Mineral Water: Contains large amounts of dissolved minerals such as calcium, sodium, magnesium, and iron. Some tap waters contain as many or more minerals than some commercial mineral waters. There is no scientific evidence that either high or low mineral content water is beneficial to humans.

  • Minimum streamflow: The specific amount of water reserved to support aquatic life, to minimize pollution, or for recreation. It is subject to the priority system and does not affect water rights established prior to its institution.

  • Mining water use: Water use for the extraction of minerals occurring naturally including solids, such as coal and ores; liquids, such as crude petroleum; and gases, such as natural gas. Also includes uses associated with quarrying, well operations (dewatering), milling (crushing, screening, washing, floatation, and so forth), and other preparations customarily done at the mine site or as part of a mining activity. Does not include water used in processing, such as smelting, refining petroleum, or slurry pipeline operations. These uses are included in industrial water use.

  • Miscibility: The ability of two liquids to mix.

  • Mist: Liquid particles measuring 40 to 500 micrometers, are formed by condensation of vapour. By comparison, fog particles are smaller than 40 micrometers.

  • Mixture: Various elements, compounds or both, that are mixed.

  • Model: A simulation, by descriptive, statistical, or other means, of a process or project that is difficult or impossible to observe directly.

  • Molecules: Combinations of two or more atoms of the same or different elements held together by chemical bonds.

  • Monitoring of water: Monitoring of water use by an industry, using metering for example, to provide baseline information on quantities of overall company water use, the seasonal and hourly patterns of water use, and the quantities and quality of water use in individual processes.

  • Municipal discharge: Discharge of effluent from wastewater treatment plants, which receive wastewater from households, commercial establishments, and industries in the coastal drainage basin.

  • Municipal sewage: Sewage from a community which may be composed of domestic sewage, industrial wastes or both.

  • Municipal Sludge: Semi liquid residue that remains from the treatment of municipal water and wastewater.

Water glossary