Acid
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An acid is a liquid with a pH less than 7.


Agriculture
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Agriculture in a watershed can cause a variety of water quality and quantity problems.  


Algae
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The amount and type of algae found in a reservoir are influenced by the watershed's land use patterns and soil type.  

Animals in Reservoir
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Animals in and around a reservoir can contribute significantly to bacterial contamination.



Average Rainfall
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Is the number of inches of rain that an area receives within a certain time period.


 
Bar Screen
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A bar screen catches large objects prior to the water entering water treatment and wastewater treatment processes.

 

Base
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A base is a liquid with a pH greater than 7.

 

BMP - Agricultural
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A voluntary program in Virginia.  Its purpose is to improve water quality in the state's streams, rivers, and in the Chesapeake Bay.

 

BMP - Types
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There are three main types of stormwater BMP's - flooding, stream channel erosion, and water quality.

 

Boundaries - Locating on the Ground
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If a property has been surveyed in the past, corner markers can be found using the engineering description.

 

Boundaries - Plotting
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Property boundaries can be plotted using information in the deed.

 

Buffer
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A buffer is a solution or liquid whose chemical makeup neutralizes acids or bases without a great change in pH.

 

Channels - Inadequate
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If a channel is found to be inadequate for erosion resistance and/or capacity, the runoff can be detained or the channel can be improved.


Channel Standards
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When a development releases water into a channel, the channel must meet standards for erosion resistance and capacity.

 

Check Dam
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A type of sedimentation control device.


 
Contamination
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Contamination is the impairment of the quality of water sources by sewage, industrial waste, or other matters to a degree, which creates a hazard to public health.  Contaminants relative to drinking water can be divided into several categories as follows: microbiological, inorganic and organic chemicals, synthetics, volatile organic chemicals, and radionuclides.


 
Cover - Retain Water
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Ground covers are used to retain water on slopes and keep the soil from eroding away too fast.


 
Critical Flows
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The amount of water which flows in a stream during floods and droughts is known as critical flows. 


Declination
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The difference between magnetic north and true north.


Deed
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A signed document which conveys ownership of a property from one party to another.

  

Detention Basin
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A stormwater management facility which temporarily impounds runoff and discharges it through a hydraulic outlet structure to a downstream conveyance system.


 
Diseases - Water Borne
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Disease is a pathological or morbid condition of the body that presents a group of signs, symptoms, and clinical findings.  Water can be a vehicle for the transmission of disease in man and other animals.  Waterborne microorganisms can be responsible for diverse public health problems including bacterial diseases such as cholera and gastroenteritis, viral infections such as hepatitis, amoebic dysentery or diarrhea originating from protozoa and parasitic helminth (worm) infections such as tapeworm or roundworm.


 
Dry Periods
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A condition where all the water or liquid has been drained away, evaporated, or exhausted due to limited rainfall.


 
Ecology
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The study of interrelationships of living things to one another and the environment.


 
Engineer's Report
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The Health Department requires a consulting engineer's report when considering all surface sources.  This report must include information on water consumption and population, the source of the supply, a description of the treatment facility, an estimate of cost, and a map.


 
Erosion
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Erosion is the process of wearing down and transporting  sediments to some other location and depositing them there.


 
Fish
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Fish are used in wastewater treatment in finishing ponds.  In reservoirs, fish help eat algae and plants keeping waterways fresh and clear.  The food chain in an aquatic environment is dependent upon fish as a go between the larger and smaller life forms.

 

Flow Regimes
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The type of flow - overland, shallow concentrated, or channel.

 

Groundwater
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Water in the soil, or groundwater, is an economical source of water, especially for small communities.  


 
Hazardous Chemicals
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Chemicals that may pose a danger to living organisms, materials, structures, or the environment by explosion or fire hazards, corrosion, toxicity to organisms, or other detrimental effects.


Hydrograph
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A graphic representation of the amount of runoff over time.


 
Hydrologic Cycle
The path water follows as it evaporates from the earth's surface, forms clouds, and then falls back to the earth's surface as rain.  

 

Impermeable Soils
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Soil which is compacted to the extent that little or no water can pass through.  Compacted clay is an example of impermeable soil.


 
Intake
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A provision or structure built to allow water to be taken from the source to the first unit of a treatment plant.


 
Introduction
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Nature is always treating water.  Along streams there are holding chambers that reduce the flow velocity and allows for bacteriological treatment.  Ozone, which is produced during thunderstorms, serves to disinfect rainwater and soil filters ground water.  Sunlight kills bacteria and surface waters are aerated by the interface of atmosphere and water.  Nature is continually renewing this precious resource.


 
Karst Terrain
An area underlain by soluble limestone or dolomite and riddled with caves, caverns, sinkholes, lakes, and disappearing streams.  Karst water supplies are easily contaminated.


 
Law
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The principles and regulations established in a community by some authority and applicable to its people, whether in the form of legislation or of custom and policies recognized and enforced by judicial decision.  Any written or positive rule or collection of rules prescribed under the authority of the state or nation, as by the people in its constitution.


 
Loam Soils
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A rich, permeable soil composed of a mixture of clay, silt, sand, and organic matter.  Water can rise as much as twenty feet by capillary action in this soil type.


 
NH4OH (ammonia)
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Ammonium hydroxide is a solution of ammonia gas in water.


 
NO3-(nitrate)
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Nitrates represent the most highly oxidized form of nitrogen whose oxidation states range for -3 to +5.  Nitrates are a major nutrient for vegetation and is an essential nutrient for all living organisms.


 
OH- ions
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OH ions are usually an indication of a base compound.  Especially when the OH ions outnumber the Hydrogen ions in the aqueous solution.



Other Pests
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For our purpose, other pests include Asiatic clams and hydrilla.


 
Permeability
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Permeability is the degree of ease with which fluid flows through a porous medium.


 
pH
pH is a measure of a weak acid or base.  Strong acids or bases are measured in %, normal or molal.  The pH scale most closely resembles the variance found in nature.

 

Pipe Inlet Sediment Trap Type A
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A type of sediment control device.


 
Plants in Reservoir
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Any aquatic plant that affects water navigation or water quality is a concern to a water plant operator.


 
Precipitation
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Any form of moisture condensing in the air and depositing on the ground.


 
Public Access
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In water, public access pertains to allowing the general public non restricted visitations to a reservoir.  Recreation such as fishing and boating is permitted as long as safety and environmental concerns are met.


 
Public Water Supply
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A  stream must be classified as Public Water Supply before it can be used as public water.  This requires that the source pass standards for bacteriological content and phenolic compounds.  


Pump Matching
A pump should be matched to its system in order to minimize operating and maintenance expenses. 


Pump Operation
A simple pump consists of a motor, shaft, and impeller.


 
Purification
In natural systems, water is purified by contact with ultraviolet light, ozone, salt water, and by bacteria in water.   


 
Quality
The quality of a water source depends on several characteristics of the water.   


 
Rainfall
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Reservoirs and ground water are recharged by rainfall. 


 
Recharge
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With reference to ground water, recharge is the infiltration and resupply of an aquifer or water table and  is controlled by rainfall, cover, and permeability of soil.


 
Regulations
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Standards and procedures set by the administrative branch of the government to enforce laws and treaties that protect the environment.  For example, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Water Act establishes limits on pollution from private and public sources.


Restrictions - Property
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Property restrictions can be based on zoning and building codes.


 

Rip-rap
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Broken rock, cobbles, or boulders placed on earth surfaces such as the face of a dam or the bank of a stream for the protection against erosive forces such as flow velocity and waves. 


 
Rock  Silt Screen
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A type of sedimentation control device.


 
Runoff
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Runoff is the part of precipitation falling on land that runs into surface streams and lakes.


 
Runoff - Calculation Methods
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The amount of runoff can be calculated using the Rational Method, the Graphical Peak Discharge Method, the Tabular Hydrograph Method, or the Unit Hydrograph Method.


 
Safety
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Numerous safety standards influence the design and construction of the proposed treatment facility.  OSHA and local codes should be referred to.


 
Saltwater Intrusion
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The phenomenon of seawaters moving back into aquifers or estuaries.  Saltwater intrusion or encroachment occurs when the normal outflow of freshwater is diverted or removed for use.


 
Sedimentation
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Sedimentation, sometimes called clarification, is the removal by gravity of settleable solids in water.  The solids removed include sand, silt, grit, chemical precipitates, pollutants, floc, and other settleable solids.  The two commonly used forms of sedimentation are plain and sedimentation following chemical addition.


 
Septic Waste
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Waste from open or broken sewer lines and in some cases untreated sewage from homes that is dumped into streams and rivers.  Low dissolved oxygen is both a system and a cause of septic water.

 

Settling
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When buildings sink into the ground due to soil compaction.

 

Silt Basin Type B
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A sedimentation control device.

 

Slope
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The rise divided by the run.

 

Soil Characteristics
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The density, percent moisture, percent organics, and support capacity of soil all affect the stability of the soil.


 
Special Problems
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Road crews apply salt to the highways and the salt seeps in the watershed.  Oils and gasoline could also cause contamination from the road surface.  Customers can become angry because they perceive their water to be pure and rust may flake off of an iron pipe.  Sometimes operators are not present when a situation occurs or do not react properly.  Consistency and training reduces this problem. Every problem imaginable occurs at some water/wastewater facility somewhere in the world.  For example, if a lime feeder stops turbidity will rise in the water and the pH will lower.  The source of the problem would take time for a new operator to discover.

 

Special Sediment Control Fence
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A sedimentation control device.


 
Springs
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Springs are areas where groundwater naturally flows out of the ground.  


 
Stability
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The ability of an ion exchange product or filter medium to withstand physical and chemical degradation in cycle after cycle operations.  In ecological terms, the tendency of systems, especially ecosystems, to persist, relatively unchanged, through time.


 
Storm Water
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Storm water is the water and associated material draining into streams, lakes, or sewers as the result of a storm.  Storm water is usually high in turbidity.

 

Stream Classification
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Streams are classified based on their use and quality.

 

Stream Flow Data
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Stream flow data is information on the rainfall in the general area, the size of the watershed, the type of soil, and the use made of the watershed.  This information is used to predict the amount of water which a stream will yield.  

 

Surface Water
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Surface water is water found on the surface of the earth, in lakes, rivers, streams, etc.  

 

Temporary Rock Silt Check Type B
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A type of sedimentation control device.  See "check dam."


Temporary Silt Fence
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A type of erosion control device.


Title Search
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Tracks the title (ownership of the property) backwards in time.


Topographic Maps
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Topographic maps use contour lines to show elevation.  The maps are used to determine watershed boundaries.  


 
Turbidity
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Turbidity is a measure of suspended particles (colloids) in water.

 

Type C Rock Inlet Sediment Trap
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A type of sediment control device used around a drop inlet.


Underground Storage Tanks
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Underground storage tanks can rupture and pollute the soil and groundwater.


 
Velocity
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The time rate of motion; the distance traveled divided by the time required to travel that distance.

 

Velocity - Settling
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The speed below which materials will be dropped out of suspension and will settle out of the water. 

 

Velocity - Suspension
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The speed of water above which the water will pick up materials and hold it in suspension.


Water Quality BMP
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A water quality BMP removes pollutants from stormwater runoff.


 
Watershed
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A watershed is a region or area bounded peripherally by a water parting and draining ultimately to a particular watercourse or body of water.


 
Well
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A well is a hole in the earth through which groundwater is brought the surface.