Glossary of Water and Wastewater Terms

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z

5 random terms from our glossary

Organics

  1. A term used to refer to chemical compounds made from carbon molecules. These compounds may be natural materials (such as animal or plant sources) or manmade materials (such as synthetic organics). Also see ORGANIC.
  2. Any form of animal or plant life. Also see BACTERIA.

    Protozoa (pro-toe-ZOE-ah)

    A group of motile, microscopic organisms (usually single-celled and aerobic) that sometimes cluster into colonies and generally consume bacteria as an energy source.

    Porcupine

    A sewer cleaning tool the same diameter as the pipe being cleaned. The tool is a steel cylinder having solid ends with eyes cast in them to which a cable can be attached and pulled by a winch. Many short pieces of cable or bristles protrude from the cylinder to form a round brush.

    Primary Element

    1. A device that measures (senses) a physical condition or variable of interest. Floats and thermocouples are examples of primary elements. Also called a sensor.
    2. The hydraulic structure used to measure flows. In open channels, weirs and flumes are primary elements or devices. Venturi meters and orifice plates are the primary elements in pipes or pressure conduits.

    Peaking Factor

    Ratio of a maximum flow to the average flow, such as maximum hourly flow or maximum daily flow to the average daily flow.