24 terms

Health of a Water System Vocabulary

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Terms in this set (...)

Potable water
drinking water
Safe water
water that can be used for bathing or cleaning
Contaminant
a substance that contaminates another substance, the air, water, land, etc.
Substrate
the use of water as a substance for organisms to grow and live
Dissolved oxygen (DO)
oxygen found dissolved in water
pH
a measure of how acidic or basic water is
Nitrates
compounds of nitrogen and oxygen that naturally occur in water, but rise to unsafe levels when runoff adds animal wastes and fertilizers to the water source
Phosphates
compounds of phosphorous and oxygen that increase to harmful levels in water when fertilizers runoff into them
Turbidity
a measure of the concentration of particles suspended in water. How cloudy the water appears.
Bio-indicators
living organisms, plant or animal, native to an area that indicate the health of a body of water
Macroinvertebrates
water insects and some other organisms that naturally occur in a body of water used as bio-indicators
Eutrophication
a process when bodies of water receive excess nutrients that stimulate the growth of algae and plants. Results in the depletion of DO. The death of a body of water.
Sewage
the liquid and solid wastes flushed down toilets and poured down drains
EPA
Environmental Protection Agency
Point source
pollution from a specific site
Nonpoint source
pollution from many sources rather than one specific site
Clean Water Act
law occurring in 1972 placing the EPA in charge of cleaning up and regulating dumping in Earth's waters
Pesticides
chemicals used on plants to kill insects
Herbicides
chemical substance used to kill unwanted plants and weeds
Coliform
bacteria found in the intestines and the fecal waste that can contaminate water supplies
Runoff
water that flows over land and into streams or storm drains as precipitation falls to the the Earth carrying many substances with it.
Stewardship
wise use of our natural resources
Economic trade-off
sacrificing the environment or resources in order to gain money or finances
Water treatment
processing of water so that it can be used in homes or businesses or returned to water source after use

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