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 of the element aluminum.
alkalinity
a measure of the acid-neutralizing capacity of a water sample.
anion
an element or compound that has a negative charge (e.g., , ).
As
the chemical symbol of the element arsenic.

B

Ba
the chemical symbol of the element barium.
Br-
the chemical symbol of the bromide ion, the anion of the element bromine (Br).
BTEX
Benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes.

C

Ca
the chemical symbol of the element calcium.
cation
an element or compound that has a positive charge (e.g., , )
Carr
carrier recovery (%) used in radionuclide reporting
Cd
the chemical symbol of the element cadmium.
Cl-
the chemical symbol of the chloride ion, the anion of the element chlorine (Cl).
Cr
the chemical symbol of the element chromium.
CWA
The Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Water Act, enacted in 1972 from the amended Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948. Summary of the Clean Water Act.


D

DNQ
detected but not quantifiable – used to denoted analytes with a signal above the method detection limit (MDL) but below the limit of quantitation (LOQ)
DUP
duplicate

E

EPA (aka US EPA)
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA Website)

F

F-
the chemical symbol of the fluoride ion, the anion of the element fluorine (F).
Fe
the chemical symbol of 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 of a proton, the cation of the element hydrogen (H). Frequently used to designate the presence of acid in water.
H3O+
the chemical symbol of the polyatomic cation hydronium, the acidic version of a water molecule (H2O), whose concentration defines the acidity of water measured by the pH scale.
Hg
the chemical symbol of the element mercury.

I

IC
ion chromatography, a method used for separating charged species (anions or cations) in water. (see also Ion Chromatography)
ion chromatograph, an instrument used for separating charged species (anions or cations) in water.
ICP-OES
inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy, a method used to detect metal species in water. (see also Spectroscopy)

L

LC
liquid chromatography (method) or liquid chromatograph (instrument)
LCS
laboratory control sample
LOD
limit of detection – the lowest quantity in a method that can be considered a true signal and not background noise (similar to MDL)
LOQ
limit of quantitation – the lowest quantity in a method that can be considered a true measure of an analyte's concentration

M

M
a symbol for Molarity, a unit of chemical concentration.
MDL
(adjusted) method detection limit – the lowest concentration that can be considered a true signal in a method and not background noise
Mg
the chemical symbol of the element magnesium.
Molarity
a unit of chemical concentration in units of moles of solute per Liters of solution (mol/L).
molar mass
the mass (in grams) of 1 mole (1 mol) of an element or compound. For example, 1 mole of carbon has a mass of 12.01 grams (12.01 g/mol).
mole
a counting unit (like 'dozen' or 'gross', only much larger) with a value of 6.022x1023. 1 mol carbon = 6.022x1023 carbon atoms.
Mn
the chemical symbol of the element manganese
MS
matrix spike
mass spectrometry (method) or mass spectrometer (instrument)

N

the chemical symbol for the nitrate polyatomic anion.

O

OH-
the chemical symbol of the polyatomic anion hydroxide, a deprotonated water molecule (H2O), whose concentration defines the basicity (alkalinity) of water.

P

PaDEP (or PADEP)
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PaDEP website)
Pb
the chemical symbol of the element lead.
pH
a measure of the acidity or alkalinity (basic) of water, calculated by the concentration of H3O+.
the chemical symbol of the phosphate polyatomic anion.
ppb
parts-per-billion, a unit of dilute solution concentration, equivalent to 1 microgram of material per 1 Liter of water (1 μg/L).
ppm
parts-per-million, a unit of dilute solution concentration, equivalent to 1 milligram of material per 1 Liter of water (1 mg/L).

R

RL
reporting limit
RPD
relative percent difference

S

the chemical symbol of the sulfate polyatomic anion.
Sr
the chemical symbol of the element strontium.
SVOC
semi-volatile organic compound

T

TDS
Total Dissolved Solids. All that remains from a solution when the water is removed.

V

VOC
volatile organic compound



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