Glossary

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This glossary serves as a quick look-up of the meaning of certain terms, including acronyms and symbols. When available, links will be provided to relevant topics for further reading.

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


A

Al
the chemical symbol for the element aluminum
alkalinity
a measure of the acid-neutralizing capability of a solution (usually an aqueous solution)
anion
an element or compound that has a negative charge (e.g., Cl- or NO3-)
As
the chemical symbol for the element arsenic

B

Ba
the chemical symbol for the element barium
Br -
the chemical symbol for the bromide ion, the anion of the element bromine (Br)

C

Ca
the chemical symbol for the element calcium
cation
an element or compound that has a positive charge (e.g., Ca2+ or NH4+)
Cd
the chemical symbol for the element cadmium
Cl -
the chemical symbol for the chloride ion, the anion of the element chlorine (Cl)
Cr
the chemical symbol for element chromium
CWA
Clean Water Act under the EPA; enacted in 1972 from the amended Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948

E

EPA
Environmental Protection Agency

F

F -
the chemical symbol for the fluoride ion, the anion of the element fluorine (F)
Fe
the chemical symbol for the element iron
FWPCA
the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948; later amended to become the Clean Water Act of 1972

H

H+
the chemical symbol for a proton, the cation of the element hydrogen
H3O+
the chemical symbol for the polyatomic hydronium cation, an acidic water molecule who concentration defines acidity
Hg
the chemical symbol for the element mercury

I

IC
ion chromatography, a method for separating and analyzing anions and cations in solution
ICP-OES
(inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry), a method of exciting atoms (adding energy) so that they can be separated and identified by unique emitted light signals.

K

Ka
the symbol for the acid dissociation constant (an equilibrium constant of an acid), whose value depends on the strength of an acid
Kb
the symbol for the base hydrolysis constant (an equilibrium constant of a base), whose value depends on the strength of a base
Kw
the symbol for the autodissociation constant of water at equilibrium (a value of 1x10-14)

M

Mg
the chemical symbol for the element magnesium
Molarity (M)
a unit of solution concentration in moles of solute per Liters of solution, (mol/L)
Mn
the chemical symbol for the element manganese

N

NO3-
the chemical symbol for the polyatomic anion nitrate
Normality (N)
a unit of solution concentration in mole equivalents of solute per Liters of solution, (mol/L)

O

OH-
the chemical symbol for the polyatomic hydroxide anion, a deprotonated water molecule whose concentration defines basicity

P

PaDEP (or PADEP)
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Pb
the chemical symbol for the element lead
pH
a measure of the acid concentration (as [H+] or [H3O+] ions) in a solution
PO43-
the chemical symbol for the polyatomic anion phosphate
ppb
parts-per-billion, a unit of dilute solution concentration (μg/L)
ppm
parts-per-million, a unit of dilute solution concentration (mg/L)

S

SO42-
the chemical symbol for the polyatomic anion sulfate
Sr
the chemical symbol for the element strontium

T

TDS
total dissolved solids
titration
a method of analysis that involves adding one solution to another to cause a measurable, detectable change to identify or quantify some chemical compound (e.g., acid-base)
TSS
total suspended solids

W

WWTP
waste water treatment plant



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