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A

ABATEMENT

Reducing the degree or intensity of, or eliminating, pollution, as a water pollution abatement program

ABSORPTION

(1) The entrance of water into the soil or rocks by all natural processes, including the infiltration of precipitation or snowmelt, gravity flow of streams into the valley alluvium into sinkholes or other large openings, and the movement of atmospheric moisture. (2) The uptake of water or dissolved chemicals by a cell or an organism (as tree roots absorb dissolved nutrients in soil).

ACCESS

The way for a person to enter a lake usually with a boat. Types of accesses include: easement access, funnel access, lake access and public access.

ACCLIMATIZATION

The adaptation by an organism to new physical and/or environmental conditions. With respect to water, it is frequently used in reference to the ability of a species to tolerate changes in water temperature, degradation of water quality, or increased levels of salinity.

AERATION

The act of adding oxygen. In Lake management it is adding oxygen to the water to stabilize the oxygen for beneficial bacteria, fish and other life forms.

AEROBIC

Occurring in the presence of oxygen or requiring oxygen to live. In aerobic respiration, which is the process used by the cells of most organisms, the production of energy from glucose metabolism requires the presence of oxygen.

ALKALINITY

Measure of the ability of a solution to neutralize acids, which can limit dangerous pH swings caused by the introduction of highly acidic or basic substances, the effects of which can be compounded by the consequent loss of plant, algal, and other aquatic life.

ANAEROBIC

Occurring in the absence of oxygen or not requiring oxygen to live. Anaerobic bacteria produce energy from food molecules without the presence of oxygen.

AQUATIC OXYGEN DEMAND

The need for oxygen to meet the needs of biological and chemical processes in water. Even though very little oxygen will dissolve in water, it is extremely important in biological and chemical processes. The lack of oxygen leads to fish kills, stratification, high algae and midge fly concentrations.

B

BATHYMETRIC MAP

A map showing the depth (bottom contours) of water in lakes, streams, or oceans. Can be used to calculate lake volume.

BENTHIC ZONE

The bottom zone of a lake.

BIOCHEMICAL OXYGEN DEMAND (BOD)

A measure of the amount of oxygen removed from aquatic environments by aerobic micro-organisms for their metabolic requirements. Measurement of BOD is used to determine the level of organic pollution of a stream or lake. The greater the BOD, the greater the degree of water pollution. The amount of dissolved oxygen needed to break down organic materials to carbon dioxide, water, and minerals in a given volume of water at a certain temperature over a specified time period. Also, referred to as Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD).

C

CARBON DIOXIDE

CO2 gas is a product of respiration and a necessity for photosynthesis. High levels of dissolved CO2 in the water can stress or kill fish.

CARLSON'S TROPHIC STATE INDEX (TSI)

A measure of Eutrophication of a body of water using a combination of measures of water transparency or turbidity (using Secchi Disk depth recordings), Chlorophyll-a concentrations, and total phosphorus levels. TSI measures range from a scale 20-80 and from Oligotrophic waters (maximum transparency, minimum chlorophyll-a, minimum phosphorus) through Mesotrophic, Eutrophic, to Hypereutrophic waters (minimum transparency, maximum chlorophyll-a, maximum phosphorus). Also referred to as the (Mean) Trophic State Index (TSI). Also see Total Inorganic Nitrogen (TIN) and Total Inorganic Phosphate (TIP).

CARRYING CAPACITY

The carrying capacity of a lake refers to its natural productivity. In relation to fish production, or other aquatic life, the numbers which the natural food supply, or pasturage, will support adequately.

CHAROPHYTES

A group of green algae, visible to the naked eye, with a characteristic structure in which the ‘stems’ are very large single cells, from which whorls of similarly constructed branches emerge. Charophytes are anchored in sediments by branching cellular systems, not roots. They often deposit calcium carbonate giving them a rough texture and the common name of ‘stoneworts’, though not all do this.

CHLORIDE

One of the major inorganic anions in water and waste-water. In coastal communities chloride levels may be high due to saltwater intrusion. Levels exceeding 600 mg/L are generally unsuitable for irrigation. Surface waters containing more than 250 mg/L chloride will have a detectable salty taste.

COD or COD Test

Chemical Oxygen Demand – In environmental chemistry COD test is commonly used to indirectly measure the amount of organic compounds in water. Most applications of COD determine the amount of organic pollutants found in lakes and rivers, making it a useful measure of water quality. It is expressed in milligrams per liter (mg/L), which indicates the mass of oxygen consumed per liter of solution.

CONDUCTIVITY

The ability of water to carry an electrical current.

COPPER

This metal is an active ingredient of certain herbicides, especially copper sulfate (bluestone), which is frequently used to control algae. High concentrations of copper ions can be toxic to fish, especially trout. Copper applied to ponds with soft or acidic water is more toxic to aquatic life than in ponds with hard or alkaline water.

D

DESTRATIFICATION

Vertical mixing within a lake or reservoir to totally or partially eliminate separate layers of temperature, plant, or animal life.

DIATOM

Any of the microscopic unicellular or colonial algae constituting the class Bacillarieae. They have a silicified cell wall, which persists as a skeleton after death and forms kieselguhr (loose or porous diatomite). Diatoms occur abundantly in fresh and salt waters, in soil, and as fossils. They form a large part of the Plankton.

DIFFUSION

The movement of a substance from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration. Turbulent diffusion results from atmospheric motions diffusing water, vapor, heat, and other gaseous components by exchanging parcels called eddies between regions in space in apparent random fashion.

DISSOLVED OXYGEN (DO)

The amount of oxygen dissolved in a body of water as an indication of the degree of health of the water and its ability to support a balanced aquatic ecosystem.

DYSTROPHIC LAKE

A lake characterized by a lack of nutrients, and often having a low pH (acidic) and a high humus content. Plant and animal life are typically sparse, and the water has a high oxygen demand. This stage follows the Eutrophic Phase in the life cycle of a lake.

E

ESTUARY

A place where fresh and salt water mix, such as a bay, salt marsh, or where a river enters an ocean.

EUTROPHICATION

The process of enrichment of lakes with nutrients, and the biological and physical changes associated with the process.

F

FLURIDONE

An aquatic herbicide commonly used to control pest plants in lakes. If the lake is also used for irrigation, a fluridone test may be necessary to ensure levels are safe for turf.

FRESHWATER

Water that contains less than 1,000 milligrams per liter (mg/L) of dissolved solids, including salt; generally, more than 500 mg/L of dissolved solids is undesirable for drinking.

H

HARDNESS

An indication of the concentration of alkaline salts in water, mainly calcium and magnesium that affects the quality.

I

IMPERMEABLE LAYER

A layer of solid material, such as rock or clay, which does not allow water to pass through.

IRON

The most common element in the earth. In Freshwater, when the concentrations become to high they precipitates on exposure to air, decreasing pond clarity and encouraging iron bacteria, which affects the flavor of both fish and water. Levels greater than 0.3 mg/L can cause staining on buildings and sidewalks when the water is used for irrigation.

L

LEACHING

Process by which soluble materials in the soil, such as nutrients, salts, contaminants or pesticide chemicals, are washed into a lower layer of soil or are dissolved and carried away by water.

LENTIC WATERS

Ponds or lakes (standing water).

M

MIDGE FLY

Any of numerous minute dipterous insects, especially of the family Chironomidae, somewhat resembling a mosquito.

MITIGATION

To lessen in force, moderate or make less severe. In aquatic management it is used to denote actions taken to restore or replace lake, pond or wetland areas that have been damaged or lost due to commercial or environmental factors.

N

NEPHELOMETRIC TURBIDITY UNIT (NTU)

Unit of measure for the turbidity or cloudiness of water as measured by a nephelometer. Turbidity is based on the amount of light that is reflected off particles in the water.

NITROGEN

A product of the natural metabolism of plant and animal matter, and fertilizer runoff. Organic nitrogen can take many forms in water, including Nitrate, Nitrite, and Ammonia. When available, these nutrients promote plant and algae growth. Ammonia concentrations below 0.3 mg/L significantly limit plant and algae populations.

NON-POINT SOURCE (NPS) POLLUTION: AQUATIC

Diffuse pollution caused by sediment, nutrients, organic and toxic substances originating from land-use activities, which are carried to lakes and streams by surface runoff. Non-point source pollution is contamination that occurs when rainwater, or irrigation washes off fields, streets, or backyards. As this runoff moves across the land surface, it picks up soil particles and pollutants, such as nutrients and pesticides.

O

ORGANIC MATTER

Plant or animal residues, or substances made by living organisms. All are based upon carbon compounds.

P

PERMEABILITY

Ability of a material to allow the passage of a liquid, such as water through rocks. Permeable materials, such as gravel and sand, allow water to move quickly through them, whereas impermeable material, such as clay, don’t allow water to flow freely.

PESTICIDE

Any substance or mixture of substances used to prevent, destroy, repel or mitigate any pest. A pesticide may be a chemical substance, biological agent (such as a virus or bacterium), antimicrobial, disinfectant or device used against any pest. Pests include insects, plant pathogens, weeds, molluscs, birds, mammals, fish, nematodes (roundworms), and microbes that destroy property, spread disease or are a vector for disease or cause a nuisance.

PLANKTON

Small organisms that float or drift in great numbers in bodies of salt or fresh water. Plankton is a primary food source for many animals, and consists of bacteria, protozoans, certain algae, cnidarians, tiny crustaceans, and many other organisms.

POINT SOURCE POLLUTION

Water pollution coming from a single point, such as a pipe.

R

RIPARIAN

Pertaining to the bank of a body of water, the water’s edge.

S

STRATIFICATION

The separation of lakes into three layers:

  1. Epilimnion – top of the lake.
  2. Thermocline – middle layer that may change depth throughout the day.
  3. Hypolimnion – the bottom layer is colder, denser and often lacks oxygen to support life and the breakdown of nutrients.

The thermal stratification of lakes refers to a change in the temperature at different depths in the lake, and is due to the change in water’s density with temperature. Cold water is denser than warm water. Where lake water warms up and cools, a cyclical pattern of overturn occurs that is repeated from year to year as the densest water at the top of the lake sinks.

SURFACE TENSION

Attraction of molecules to each other on a liquid’s surface creating a barrier is created between the air and the liquid.

SURFACE WATER

Water that is on the Earth’s surface, such as in a stream, river, lake, or reservoir.

T

TOTAL DISSOLVED SOLIDS

Solids that are less than size of two micrometer, very often nutrients form runoff. High dissolved solids may cause irrigation water to stain vehicles and other surfaces in the general vicinity. Water with dissolved solids is often referred to as being ‘hard’

TURBIDITY

Amount of solid particles that are suspended in water and that cause light rays shining through the water to scatter. Thus, turbidity makes the water cloudy or even opaque in extreme cases. Turbidity is measured in nephelometric turbidity units (NTU). Lack of clarity, muddy, cloudy – in natural waters it is caused by the presence of suspended solids such as silt, clay, fine organic and inorganic matter, plankton and other microscopic organisms.

W

WATER QUALITY

The chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of water, usually in respect to its suitability for a particular purpose.

WATERSHED

The land that sheds water from the surface or underground into the same place, often a pond or lake.

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