A substance which releases hydrogen ions when dissolved in water.
Most acids will dissolve the common metals, and will react with a base to form a neutral salt and water.
A granular material
usually produced by the roasting of cellulose base substances, such as wood or coconut shells, in the absence of air. It has
a very porous structure and is used in water conditioning as an adsorbent for organic matter and certain dissolved gases.
Sometimes called "activated charcoal."
A substance which has
the capacity to adsorb.
The process in which
matter adheres to the surface of an adsorbent.
The quantitative capacity
of water or water solution to neutralize an acid. It is usually measured by titration with a standard acid solution of sulfuric
acid, and expressed in terms of its calcium carbonate equivalent. A moderate amount of Alkalinity in your water is desirable
because it reduces the effect of corrosion. The EPA has not set a level for Alkalinity, but a level greater than 100 ppm is
Aluminum can be found as
a natural forming mineral or as a by product of water that is corrosive or aggressive. Aluminum in the water may cause a discoloration
or cloudy appearance. The EPA maximum contaminant level for aluminum in water is 0.2 ppm.
A negatively charged ion in
solution, such as bicarbonate, chloride, or sulfate.
An ion exchange process
in which anions in solution are exchanged for other anions from an ion exchanger. In demineralization, for example, bicarbonate,
chloride, and sulfate anions are removed from solution in exchange for a chemically equivalent number of hydroxide anions
from the anion exchange resin.
A layer or zone below the
surface of the earth which is capable of yielding a significant volume of water.
The smallest particle of an
element that can exist either alone or in combination with similar particles of the same element or a different element.
The process in which solids
are worn down or ground down by friction, often between particles of the same material. Filter media and ion exchange materials
are subject to attrition during backwashing, regeneration, and service.
The process in which beds
of filter or ion exchange media are subjected to flow opposite to the service direction to loosen the bed and to flush suspended
matter (collected during the service run) to waste.
which typically reproduce by cell division. Although usually classified as plants, bacteria contain no chlorophyll.
A substance which releases
hydroxyl ions which when dissolved in water. Bases react with acids to form a neutral salt and water.
The ion exchange or filter media
in a column or other tank or operational vessel.
The height of the ion
exchange or filter media in the vessel after preparation for service.
of a water due to the presence of bicarbonate ions (HCO3 -).
BIOCHEMICAL OXYGEN DEMAND
of oxygen consumed in the oxidation of organic matter by biological action under specific standard test conditions. Widely
used as a measure of the strength of sewage and waste water.
A strong solution of salts(s),
such as the sodium chloride brine used in the regeneration of ion exchange water softeners; also applied to the mixed sodium,
calcium, and magnesium chloride waste solution from regeneration.
One of the principal elements
making up the earth's crust; its compounds, when dissolved, make the water hard. The presence of calcium in water is a factor
contributing to the formation of scale and insoluble soap curds which are a means of clearly identifying hard water.
Two of the principal
elements making up the earth's crust; its compounds, when dissolved, make the water hard. The presence of calcium and magnesium
in water is a factor contributing to the formation of scale and insoluble soap curds which are a means of clearly identifying
An expression of the quantity
of an undesirable material which can be removed by a water conditioner between servicing of the media (i.e., cleaning, regeneration
or replacement), as determined under standard test conditions. For ion exchange water softeners, the capacity is expressed
in grains of hardness removal between successive regeneration's and is related to the pound of salt used in regeneration.
For filters, the capacity may be expressed in the length of time or total gallons delivered between servicing.
The CO3- ion.
due to the presence of the carbonate ion.
to the presence of calcium and magnesium bicarbonates and carbonates in water; the smaller of the total hardness and the total
A gas present in
the atmosphere and formed by the decay of organic matter; the gas in carbonated beverages; in water it forms carbonic acid.
An ion with a positive electrical
charge, such as calcium, magnesium and sodium.
Ion exchange process
in which cations in solution are exchanged for other cations from an ion exchanger.
Any substance capable of
burning or destroying animal flesh or tissue. The term is usually applied to strong bases.
The common name for
To form a complex chemical
compound in which an ion, usually metallic, is bound into a stable ring structure.
A chemical compound
sometimes fed to water to tie up undesirable metal ions, keep them in solution, and eliminate or reduce the normal effects
of the ion.
CHEMICAL OXYGEN DEMAND
of matter, both organic and inorganic, in a water or waste water which can be oxidized by boiling with a strong oxidizing
acid under standard test conditions and expressed as the equivalent amount of oxygen; often used as a measure of the strength
of sewage and waste water; includes materials not oxidized in the BOD test, and thus does not correlate with BOD.
Chloride is a natural forming
mineral found in water. High levels of chloride can impact taste and also be associated with corrosion or high Sodium content.
Water with excessive amounts of chloride can be very toxic to most plants. The EPA maximum contaminant level for chloride
is 250 ppm.
A gas, C12, widely used
in the disinfection of water and an oxidizing agent for organic matter, iron, etc.
Chlorine is added
to water as a disinfectant to kill harmful organisms or bacteria. Even though Chlorine is used in providing safe drinking
water, when it is in excess, it is the most common cause of taste and odor problems. Also when Chlorine is combined with ammonia
as a disinfectant called chloramines, a byproduct as Trihalomethanes are formed, which cause cancer. The EPA does not have
a level for Chlorine but a concentration of 0.1 to 0.2 ppm is recommended and a level of 1.0 or greater is considered very
A measure of the
amount of chlorine which will be consumed by organic matter and other oxidizable substances in a water before a chlorine residual
will be found; the difference between the total chlorine fed and the chlorine residual.
A material, such as alum,
which will form a gelatinous precipitate in water, and cause the agglomeration of finely divided particles into larger particles
which can then be removed by settling and/or filtration.
A material which is
not a coagulant, but which improves the effectiveness of a coagulant, often by forming larger or heavier particles, speeding
the reactions, or permitting reduced coagulant dosage.
The process in which
very small, finely divided solid particles, often colloidal in nature, are agglomerated into larger particles.
Very finely divided solid
particles which will not settle out of a solution; intermediate between a true dissolved particle and a suspended solid which
will settle out of solution. The removal of colloidal particles usually requires coagulation to form larger particles which
may be removed by sedimentation and/or filtration.
value based on the total hardness, the magnesium to calcium ratio, and the sodium concentration of a water. It is used to
correct for the reductions in hardness removal capacity caused by these factors in cation exchange water
A measure of the ability
of a solution to carry electricity; the reciprocal of the electrical resistance. The unit of conductance is the mho (reciprocal
The quality or power
to carry electrical current; in water, the conductivity is related to the concentration of ions capable of carrying electrical
Copper in water is a common
problem in many households. Copper is present due to the corrosion of plumbing materials from Acidic (low pH) or Aggressive
water (low TDS). Common problems associated with copper due corrosion are leaks in the plumbing system or blue-green staining.
High copper content can also cause some health concerns by effecting the stomach and intestines. The EPA has set a maximum
contaminant level of 1.3 ppm.
The destructive disintegration
of a metal by electrochemical means.
A series of events or steps
which ultimately lead back to the starting point, such as the exhaustion-regeneration cycle of an ion exchange system; sometimes
incorrectly used in reference to a single step of a complete cycle.
The removal of all
ionized minerals and salts (both organic and inorganic) from a solution by a two-phase ion exchange procedure. First, positively
charged ions are exchanged for a chemically equivalent amount of hydrogen ions. Second, negatively charged ions are removed
by an anion exchange resin for a chemically equivalent amount of hydroxide ions. The hydrogen and hydroxide ions introduced
in this process unite to form water molecules. The term is often used interchangeably with demineralization.
The removal of
ionized inorganic minerals and salts (not organic materials) from a solution by a two-phase ion exchange procedure; similar
to deionization, and the two terms are often used interchangeably.
D.I. OR DI
Abbreviation for deionization.
The separation of components
of a solution by diffusion through a semi-permeable membrane which is capable of passing certain ions or molecules while rejecting
in pressures at two points in a water system; may be due to differences in elevation, or to friction losses or pressure drops
due to resistance to flow in pipes, softeners, filters or other devices.
A process in which
pathogenic (disease-producing) bacteria are killed; may involve disinfecting agents such as chlorine, or physical processes
such as heating.
The weight of matter
in true solution in a stated volume of water; includes both inorganic and organic matter; usually determined by weighing the
residue after evaporation of the water at 105 or 1800C.
The process in which
a liquid, such as water, is converted into its vapor state by heating, and the vapor cooled and condensed to the liquid state
and collected; used to remove solids and other impurities from water; multiple distillations are required for extreme purity.
The ratio of output per
unit input; the effectiveness of performance of a system; in an ion exchange system, often expressed as the amount of regenerant
required to produce a unit of capacity, such as the pounds of salt per kilograin of hardness removal.
A process in which
a direct current is applied to a cell to draw charged ions through ion-selective semi-permeable membranes, thus removing the
ions from the solution.
The point at which a process
is stopped because a predetermined value of a measurable variable is reached; the endpoint of an ion exchange water softener
service run is the point at which the hardness of the softener effluent increases to a predefined concentration, often 1.0
grain per gallon; the endpoint of a filter service run may be the point at which the pressure drop across the filter reaches
a predetermined value; the endpoint of a titration is the point at which the titrant produces predetermined color change,
pH value, or other measurable characteristic.
EQUIVALENT PER MILLION
A unit of
concentration used in chemical calculations, calculated by dividing the concentration in ppm or mg/1 by the equivalent weight.
The state of an ion exchange
material in which it is no longer capable of effective functioning due to the depletion of the initial supply of exchangeable
ions; the exhaustion point may be defined in terms of a limiting concentration of matter in the effluent, or in the case of
demineralization, in terms of electrical conductivity.
Specifically, a device or
system for the removal of solid particles (suspended solids); in general, includes mechanical, adsorptive, oxidizing and neutralizing
An arbitrary unit assigned
to different types of plumbing fixtures, and used to estimate flow rate requirements and drain capacity requirements.
The agglomeration of
finely divided suspended solids into larger, usually gelatinous, particles; the development of a "floc" after treatment with
a coagulant by gentle stirring or mixing.
A device designed to
limit the flow of water or regenerant to a predetermined value over a broad range of inlet water pressures.
The quantity of water
or regenerant which passes a given point in a specified unit of time, often expressed in gallons per minute.
Fluoride can be found in
water as natural mineral or as an additive to public or municipal supplies. Fluoride can cause a discoloration or teeth known
as Fluorosis when in excessive levels in water. The EPA maximum contaminant level for Fluoride in water is 2.0 ppm.
A tank or chamber in
which water is stored for rapid release to flush a toilet or water closet.
A self-closing valve
designed to release a large volume of water when tripped, to flush a toilet or water closet.
The process in which undesirable
foreign matter accumulates in a bed of filter media or ion exchanger, clogging pores and coating surfaces, thus inhibiting
or retarding the proper operation of the bed.
FREE AVAILABLE CHLORINE
of residual chlorine present as dissolved gas, hypochlorous avid or hypochlorite, not combined with ammonia or in other less
readily available forms.
The vertical distance
between a bed of filter media or ion exchange material and the overflow or collector for backwash water; the height above
the bed of granular media available for bed expansion during backwashing; may be expressed either as a linear distance or
a percentage of bed depth.
Abbreviation for grains per
(gr.) A unit of weight equal
to 1/7000th of a pound, or 0.0648 gram.
GRAIN PER GALLON
(gpg) A common
basis for reporting water analyses in the United States and Canada; one grain per U.S. gallon equals 17.12 milligrams per
liter (mg/1) or parts per million (ppm). One grain per British (Imperial) gallon equals 14.3 milligrams per liter or parts
(g) The basic unit of weight
(mass) of the metric system, originally intended to be the weight of one cubic centimeter of water at 4oC.
A natural mineral, primarily
composed of complex silicates, which possesses ion exchange properties.
A characteristic of natural
water due to the presence of dissolved calcium and magnesium; water hardness is responsible for most scale formation in pipes
and water heaters and forms insoluble "curd" when it reacts with soaps. Hardness is usually expressed in grains per gallon,
parts per million, or milligrams per liter, all as calcium carbonate equivalent.
a measurement of naturally occurring dissolved minerals Calcium and Magnesium, hard water can inhibit the sudsing of detergents
and soaps. Hard water can scale pipes and decrease the life of appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, coffee makers.
Hardness can also cause spotting of fixtures, tiles, dishes, or glassware. The EPA has not set a limit for hardness, but if
your hardness is greater than 7 grains per gallon (gpg) then you should consider installing a water softener.
The presence of
a consistent concentration of hardness in the effluent from an ion exchange water softener, often due to high concentrations
of hardness or sodium in the water being treated (see Leakage).
Water with a total hardness
of one grain per gallon or more, as calcium carbonate equivalent.
A measure of the pressure at
a point tin a water system: expressed in pounds per square or in the height of a column of water which would produce the pressure.
See Pressure Drop.
Referring to water or
other fluids in motion.
in which particles of the same specific gravity may be graded according to size by backwashing or other relative upward flow
of water; the smallest particles tending to rise to the top of the bed, and the largest particles tending to sink to the bottom,
due to variations in weight to surface area ratios.
The cation exchange
cycle in which the cation exchanger is regenerated with acid, and cations are removed from the solution treated in exchanged
for hydrogen ions.
HYDROGEN ION CONCENTRATION
of hydrogen ions in moles per liter of solution; often expressed as pH (see pH).
The water cycle,
including precipitation of water from the atmosphere as rain or snow flow of water over or through the earth, and evaporation
or transpiration to water vapor in the atmosphere. (see Transpiration).
The reaction of a salt
with water to form an acid and a base.
A chemical compound of
an element or elements with the hydroxyl (OH) anion. (see Hydroxyl).
The chemical group or ion
(OH) which is neutral or positively charged.
The "OC1" anion; calcium
and sodium hypochlorites are commonly used as bleaches and disinfecting agents.
An atom or group of atoms which
functions as a unit, and has a positive or negative electrical charge, due to the gain or loss of one or more electrons. (see
A reversible process
in which ions are released from an insoluble permanent material in exchange for other ions in a surrounding solution; the
direction of the exchange depends upon the affinities of the ion exchanger for the ion present, and the concentrations of
the ions in the solution. (see Base Exchange).
A permanent, insoluble
material which contains ions that will exchange reversibly with other ions in a surrounding solution. Both cation and anion
exchangers are used in water conditioning.
The process in which
atoms gain or lose electrons and thus become ions with positive or negative charges; sometimes used as a synonym for dissociation,
the separation of molecules into charged ion in solution.
specific for each partially ionizable chemical compound to express the ratio of the concentration of ions from the compound
to the concentrate of un-ionized compound.
An element often found discolored
in ground water (in the form of ferrous iron) in concentrations usually ranging from zero to 10 ppm (mg/1). It is objectionable
in water supplies because it can effect water taste and cause unsightly colors produced when iron reacts with tannins in beverages
such as coffee and tea. Iron causes staining after oxidation and precipitation, as ferric hydroxide (yellow, brown, and red
on clothing, dishes, fixtures, and bathroom tile). Iron can also be found in a bacterial form which will appear as black or
brown slime and can effect the odor of your water. Iron is a common water problem throughout the United States, it can be
found in well water and municipal water. The EPA has set a maximum level for Iron of 0.3 ppm in water, iron concentrations
at this level or higher can cause staining.
Organisms which are
capable of utilizing ferrous iron (either from the water or from steel pipe) in their metabolism and precipitating both ferric
hydroxide in their sheaths and gelatinous deposits. These organisms tend to collect in pipe lines and tanks during periods
of low flow, and to break loose in slugs of turbid water to create staining, taste, and odor problems.
JACKSON TURBIDITY UNIT (JTU)
unit of turbidity originally based on the comparison of a liquid (such as water) with a suspension of a specify type of silica,
using the turbidity measure in a Jackson Candle Turbidimeter.
KILO: A prefix used to indicate 1000
of the succeeding unit. (Kilo is also sometimes used as an abbreviation for kilogram.)
One thousand grains.
One thousand grams.
A calculated number
used to predict whether or not a water will precipitate, be in equilibrium with, or dissolve calcium carbonate. It is sometimes
erroneously assumed that any water which tends to dissolve calcium carbonate is automatically corrosive.
Lead in drinking water is a
common problem, it comes from lead pipes, solder, and brass fittings. Water that has a low pH or Total Dissolved Solids will
provide corrosive properties that can leach from your plumbing system. Lead can cause learning and physical disabilities in
children and also Hypertension in adults. The EPA action level for Lead is 0.015 ppm.
The amount of contaminant
or hardness remaining in water after filtering or other treatment.
The common name for calcium
oxide (Ca); hydrated lime is calcium hydroxide [Ca(OH)2].
Hard water scale containing
a high percentage of calcium carbonate.
A sedimentary rock, largely
calcium carbonate, usually also containing significant amounts of magnesium carbonate.
The basic metric unit of volume;
3.785 liters equals one U.S. gallon. One liter of water weighs 1000 grams.
One of the elements making
up the earth's crust. Magnesium compounds, when dissolved in water, make the water hard. The presence of magnesium in water
is a factor contributing to the formation of scale and insoluble soap curds.
An element sometimes found
in ground water, usually with dissolved iron but in lower concentrations. Manganese is a typical natural occurring mineral
found in municipal and well water. Manganese effects the taste and the color or water. Manganese can also cause staining of
clothes and dishware and black stains and other problems similar to iron. The EPA has determined that concentrations greater
than 0.05 ppm can cause these asethic problems.
has been processed to incorporate in its pores and on its surface the higher oxides of manganese. The product has a mild oxidizing
power, and is often used in the oxidation and precipitation of iron, manganese and/or hydrogen sulfide, and in their removal
The selected materials in
a filter that form the barrier to the passage of certain suspended solids or dissolved molecules.
Singular form of media.
The abbreviation for milligrams
A linear measure equal to
one millionth of a meter.
The term applied to
a filter to indicate the particle size of suspended solids that will be removed. As used in industry standards, this is an
"absolute" not nominal rating.
MILLIGRAM PER LITER (mg/l)
concentration of matter used in reporting the results of water and waste water analyses. In diluted water solutions it is
practically equal to the part per million, but varies from he ppm in concentrated solution such as brine. As most analyses
are performed on measured volumes of water the mg/l is a more accurate expression of the concentration, and is the preferred
unit of measure.
A unit of length equal
to one thousandth of a micron, often used to express the wavelengths of colors of visible light in colorimetric analytical
procedures. The symbol for the millimicron is "mu".
A term applied to inorganic
substances (such as rocks and similar matter) found in the earth strata, as opposed to organic substances such as plant and
animal matter. Minerals normally have definite chemical composition and crystal structure. The term is also applied to matter
derived from minerals, such as the inorganic ions found in water. The term has been incorrectly applied to ion exchangers,
even though most of the modern materials are organic ion exchange resins.
The molecular weight of a chemical
compound expressed in grams.
The simplest combination
of atoms that will form a specific chemical compound; the smallest particle of a substance which will still retain the essential
composition and properties of that substance, and which can be broken down only into atoms and simpler substances.
MOST PROBABLE NUMBER (MPN)
used to indicate the number of organisms which, according to statistical theory, would be most likely to produce the results
observed in certain bacteriological tests; usually expressed as a number in 100 ml of water.
The electrical charge
on an electrode or ion in solution due to the presence of an excess of electrons.
In electrical systems, the
term used to indicate neither an excess nor a lack of electrons; a condition of balance between positive and negative charges.
In chemistry, the term used to indicate a balance between acids and bases; the neutral point on the pH scale is 7.0, indicating
the presence of equal numbers of free hydrogen (acidic) and hydroxide (basic) ions.
In general, the addition
of either and acid or a base to a solution as required to produce a neutral solution. The use of alkaline or basic materials
to neutralize the acidity of some waters is a common proactive in water conditioning.
commonly found in well water from agricultural areas. It comes from fertilizers, industrial wastes, septic systems, and animal
wastes. High amounts of nitrate effect the bloods ability to carry oxygen. Most susceptible are infants where nitrate poisoning
can cause death by a health diagnosis known as "The Blue Baby Syndrome." The EPA has a set maximum contaminant level of 10
ppm for Nitrate Nitrogen.
due to the presence of compounds such as calcium and magnesium chlorides, sulfates or nitrates; the excess of total hardness
over total alkalinity.
The range of
pressure, usually expressed in pounds per square inch, over which a water conditioning device or water system is designed
A process of diffusion of
a solvent (such as water ) through a semi-permeable membrane which will transmit the solvent but impede most dissolved substances.
The normal flow of solvent is from the dilute solution to the concentrated solution.
A chemical process in
which electrons are removed from an atom, ion or compound. The addition of oxygen is a specific form of oxidation. Combustion
is an extremely rapid form of oxidation, while the rusting of iron is a slow form.
As used in industry
standards, the size of a particle suspended in water as determined by its smallest dimension, usually expressed in microns.
PARTS PER MILLION (ppm)
basis for reporting the results of water and waste water analyses, indicating the number of parts by weight of a dissolved
or suspended constituent, per million parts by weight or water or other solvent. In dilute water solutions, one part per million
is practically equal to one milligram per liter, which is the preferred unit.
An organism which may cause
due to the presence of the chlorides and sulfates of calcium and magnesium, which will not be precipitated by boiling. This
term is largely replaced by "noncarbonate hardness."
The reciprocal of the logarithm
of the hydrogen ion concentration. The pH scale is from zero to 14, and 7.0 is the neutral point, indicating the presence
of equal concentrations of free hydrogen and hydroxide ions. pH values below 7.0 indicate increasing acidity, and pH values
above 7.0 indicate increasing base concentrations.
A term applied
to water softeners and filters which are designed for connection to a water system with special fittings, and disconnection
and transport to a central station or plant for regeneration or servicing.
The electrical charge
on an electrode or ion in solution due to the removal of electrons.
The abbreviation for part per
To cause a dissolved
substance to form a solid particle which can be removed by settling or filtering, such as in the removal of dissolved iron
by oxidation, precipitation, and filtration. The term is also used to refer to the solid formed, and to the condensation of
water in the atmosphere to form rain or snow.
in pressure between two points in a system due to differences in elevation and/or pressure drop due to flow.
A decrease in water
pressure during flow due to internal friction between molecules of water, and external friction due to irregularities or roughness
in surfaces past which the water flows.
The basis for calculating
the number of gallons delivered by a water softener between regeneration's, or amount of time between servicing of a filter,
as determined under specific test conditions.
RATED PRESSURE DROP
drop of a freshly regenerated and/or backwashed water softener or filter at the rated service flow, with clean water at a
temperature of 60 F, as determined under standard test conditions.
RATED SERVICE FLOW
specified maximum flow rate at which a water softener will deliver soft water, or a filter will deliver quality water (as
specified for its type) as determined under standard test conditions. A manufacturer may also specify a minimum flow rate
or a range of service flows.
RATED SOFTENER CAPACITY
softener capacity rating based on grains of hardness removed while producing soft water between successive regeneration's,
and related to the pounds of salt required for each regeneration as determined under standard test conditions.
Untreated water, or any
water before it reaches a specific water treatment device or process.
A chemical process in
which electrons are added to an atom, ion or compound.
Water which has a reddish
or brownish appearance due to the presence of precipitated iron and/or iron bacteria.
A solution of chemical
compound used to restore the capacity of an ion exchange system. Sodium chloride brine is used as a regenerate for ion exchange
water softeners; acids and bases are used as regenerants for the cation and anion resins used in demineralization.
In general, includes
the backwash, brine, and fresh water rinse steps necessary to prepare a water softener exchange bed for service after exhaustion.
Specifically, the term may be applied to the "brine" step in which the sodium chloride solution is passed through the exchanger
bed. The term may also be used for similar operations relating to demineralizers and certain filters.
of regenerant used in regeneration of an ion exchange unit or system, usually expressed in pounds per regeneration and/or
pounds per regeneration per cubic foot of ion exchange.
The amount of a specific
material remaining in the water following a water treatment process. May refer to material remaining as a result of incomplete
removal (see Leakage) or to material meant to remain in the treated water (see Residual Chlorine).
The amount of
chlorine found in the water after treatment.
Synthetic organic ion exchange
material, such as the high capacity cation exchange resin widely used in water softeners.
The use of
the anion exchange resin ahead of the cation exchange resin (the reverse of the usual order ) in a deionization system.
A process for the
removal of dissolved ions from water, in which pressure is used to force the water through a semi-permeable membrane, which
will transmit the water by reject most other dissolved materials.
Water containing an
excessive amount of dissolved salts, usually over 10,000 mg/1.
The common name for the specific
chemical compound sodium chloride, used in the regeneration of ion exchange water softeners. In chemistry, the term is applied
to a class of chemical compounds which can be formed by the neutralization of an acid with a base.
A chemical reaction in
which certain ions are bound into a stable, water soluble compound, thus preventing undesirable action by the ions.
A chemical compound
sometimes fed into water to tie up undesirable ions, keep them in solution, and eliminate or reduce the normal effects of
the ions. For example, polyphosphates can sequester hardness and prevent reactions with soap.
Silica can be found in water
as a natural forming mineral or an additive to public water supplies. Silica is not regulated by the EPA and does not cause
any health concerns. However, silica can cause spotting of glassware, fixtures, and automobiles during the cleaning process.
One of a class of chemical
compounds which possesses cleaning properties, formed by the reaction of a fatty acid with a base or alkali. Sodium and potassium
soaps are soluble and useful, but can be converted to insoluble calcium and magnesium soaps (curd) by the presence of these
hardness ions in water.
The common name for sodium
carbonate, a chemical compound used as an alkaline builder in come soap and detergent formulations; to neutralize acid water,;
and in the lime-soda ash water treatment process.
An ion found in natural water
supplies, and introduced to water in the ion exchange water softening process. Sodium compounds are highly soluble, and do
not react with soaps or detergents. The effects of Sodium are not clearly understood. A high sodium intake can effect your
blood pressure and cause stress. The EPA has set a maximum contaminant level of 20 ppm for people who have a sodium restricted
The chemical name
for common salt, widely used in the regeneration of ion exchange water softeners.
Any water which contains
less than 1.0 fpf (17/1 mg/1) of hardness minerals, expressed as calcium carbonate.
Any water that is
treated to reduce hardness minerals to 1.0 gpg (17/1 mg/1) or less, expressed as calcium carbonate.
The substance which is dissolved
in a solvent. Dissolved solids, such as the minerals found in water, are solutes.
The liquid, such as water,
in which other materials (solutes ) are dissolved.
The ratio of the
weight of a specific volume of a substance to the weight of the same volume of pure water at 4 C.
Sulfate is a natural forming
mineral found in water. Sulfate effects the taste of water, and when combined with bacteria or heated (water heater) may effect
the odor. High levels of Sulfate may impact the digestion system causing a laxative effect. The EPA maximum contaminant level
for sulfate in water is 250 ppm.
of bacteria which are capable of reducing sulfates in water to hydrogen sulfide gas, thus producing obnoxious tastes and odors.
These bacteria have no sanitary significance, and are classed as nuisance organisms.
A yellowish solid element.
The term is also used as a slang expression to refer to water containing hydrogen sulfide gas.
Tannin is a common natural
occurrence in well water. Tannin is produced by decaying vegetation in the well system. It causes the water to have a yellow
of light brown color and can provide a bitter taste. There is currently no EPA regulatory level for tannin in water.
The abbreviation for total dissolved
A very low concentration
of a substance in water. The term is sometimes used to indicate the concentration which can just be detected.
An analytical process
in which a standard solution in a calibrated vessel is added to a measured volume of sample until an endpoint, such as a color
change, is reached. From the volume of the sample and the volume of standard solution used, the concentration of a specific
material may be calculated.
The total of all forms
of acidity, including mineral acidity, carbon dioxide, and acid salts. Total acidity is usually determined by titration with
a standard base solution to the phenolphthalein endpoint (pH 8.3).
of a water as determined by titration with standard acid solution to the methyl orange endpoint (pH approximately 4.5); sometimes
abbreviated as "M alkalinity." Total alkalinity includes many alkalinity components, such as hydroxides, carbonates, and bicarbonates.
TOTAL DISSOLVED SOLIDS (TDS)
weight of solids per unit volume of water which are in true solution; usually determined by the evaporation of a measured
volume of filtered water and determination of the residue weight. Total Dissolved Solids is a measurement of any minerals
or salts in the water. Bicarbonate, Chloride, Sulfate, Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium are the major components of dissolved solids
in water. High amounts of these salts provide the major cause of water taste problems. High TDS can cause the water to appear
inappropriate to drink, and spotting of glassware, fixtures, or painted surfaces such as automobiles. Also high dissolved
solids can diminish the life of home appliances. The EPA has set a maximum contaminant level of 500 ppm.
The sum of all
hardness constituents in a water, expressed as the equivalent concentration of calcium carbonate. Primarily due to calcium
and magnesium in solution, but may include small amounts of metals such as iron which can act like calcium and magnesium in
The weight of
all solids ( dissolved and suspended, organic and inorganic) per unit volume of water; usually determined by the evaporation
of a measured volume of water at 105 C in a pre-weighed dish.
A measure of the amount
of finely divided suspended matter in water, which causes the scattering and adsorption of light rays.
Zinc is a product of a corrosive
or aggressive water that is in contact with a galvanized plumbing system. Zinc can effect the taste and color of the water.
The EPA maximum contaminant level for zinc is 5.0 ppm.