Skip Menu

Return to Skip Menu

Main Navigation

Return to Skip Menu

Main Content

Brian Benham

Title Summary Date ID Author(s)
A Glossary of Water-Related Terms

The definitions and associated explanations of water-related terms presented here are intended to provide the reader with a working knowledge of terms that apply to Virginia's water resources. The list is designed to assist the user in understanding and interpreting water related information that may come from sources as varied as governmental agencies, environmental groups, or the news media. While terms and definitions are fairly consistent, some terminology presented here could be defined differently to describe water resources issues in other locations.

May 1, 2009 442-758
Common Ground: Why Should University Faculty Partner with Virginia Cooperative Extension? Feb 21, 2014 BSE-94NP
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Fluvanna and Louisa Counties, Virginia. October 2010, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-10
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Suffolk, Virginia May 1, 2009 442-202
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Albemarle County, Virginia, April 2012, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Feb 19, 2013 BSE-62NP
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Albemarle and Fluvanna Counties, Virginia, March-May 2009 Virginia Household Water Quality Program Nov 12, 2010 3010-1502
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Amherst County, Virginia, June - July 2009, Household Water Quality Program Nov 12, 2010 3010-1503
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Appomattox and Campbell Counties, Virginia May - June 2009, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Nov 12, 2010 3010-1504
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Augusta County, Virginia, September - November 2009, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Nov 12, 2010 3010-1505
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Bath and Highland Counties, Virginia, October-November 2009, Virginia Household water Quality Program Nov 22, 2010 3010-1506
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Bedford County, Virginia, June-July 2009, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Nov 22, 2010 3010-1507
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Botetourt County, Virginia. July 2010, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-7
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Buckingham County, Virginia. September 2011, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-28
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Caroline County, Virginia, January-February 2009, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Nov 22, 2010 3010-1508
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Clarke and Frederick Counties, Virginia. March 2011, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-29
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Culpeper County, Virginia, November-December 2008, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Nov 22, 2010 3010-1509
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Dinwiddie County, Virginia, February-March 2009, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Nov 22, 2010 3010-1510
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Floyd County, Virginia. April 2010, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-9
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Frederick County, Virginia, May 2012, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Feb 22, 2013 BSE-67NP
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Frederick County, Virginia. May 2010, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-8
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Greene County, Virginia, April-May 2009, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Nov 23, 2010 3010-1511
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Isle of Wight County, Virginia, June 2011, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-30
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in King George County, Virginia, January-February 2009, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Nov 23, 2010 3010-1512
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Lee and Scott Counties March 2011, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-31
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Loudoun County, Virginia, May 2012, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Feb 22, 2013 BSE-66NP
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Loudoun County, Virginia. June 2010, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-14
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Loudoun County, Virginia. May 2011, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-32
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Lunenburg and Nottoway Counties 2011, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-34
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Madison and Orange Counties, Virginia. November 2010. Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-13
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Montgomery County, Virginia. March 2010, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-11
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Nelson County, Virginia. November 2010. Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-12
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Page and Shenandoah Counties, Virginia, June 2012, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Feb 22, 2013 BSE-70NP
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Prince George County, Virginia, January-February 2009, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Nov 24, 2010 3010-1513
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Prince William County, Virginia, November 2012, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Feb 22, 2013 BSE-65NP
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Rockbridge County, Virginia, September-November 2009, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Nov 29, 2010 3010-1514
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Rockingham County, Virginia, August-September 2009, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Nov 29, 2010 3010-1515
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Russell and Tazewell Counties 2011, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-33
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Smyth County, Virginia February 2011. Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-35
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Southside, Virginia (Halifax, Mecklenburg, Charlotte, Lunenburg, and Brunswick Counties), September 2012, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Feb 22, 2013 BSE-69NP
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Southwest Virginia (Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise Counties), Spring and Fall 2012, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Feb 21, 2013 BSE-64NP
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Spotsylvania and Stafford Counties, Virginia, August 2012, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Feb 19, 2013 BSE-63NP
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Spotsylvania and Stafford Counties, Virginia. October 2011. Virginia Household Water Quality Program Jan 3, 2012 BSE-36
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in Warren County, Virginia, June 2012, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Feb 22, 2013 BSE-68NP
Evaluation of Household Water Quality in the Northern Neck, Virginia (Northumberland, Lancaster, Richmond, Westmoreland, and Essex Counties), March and September 2012, Virginia Household Water Quality Program Feb 19, 2013 BSE-61NP
Filtration, Treatment, and Maintenance Considerations for Micro-Irrigation Systems

Micro-irrigation systems can deliver water and nutrients in precise amounts and at controlled frequencies directly to the plant's root zone. With micro-irrigation systems, an extensive network of pipe is used to distribute water to emitters that discharge it in droplets, small streams, or through mini-sprayers. The major cause of failure in micro-irrigation systems is emitter plugging. Emitter plugging can severely degrade irrigation system performance and application uniformity. Because the emitters are small and can easily plug, it is important to understand the filtration and maintenance requirements of these systems and be proactive to prevent plugging. The basic components of a typical micro-irrigation system are shown in Figure 1.

May 1, 2009 442-757
Greywater Reuse Apr 30, 2014 BSE-114NP
Implementation: What Happens after the TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) is Developed?

A TMDL, or total maximum daily load defines the total pollutant loading a water body can receive and still meet applicable water quality standards. (Italicized terms are defined in the boxes at the bottom of each page.) A TMDL equation is developed from a study that identifies the sources of a particular pollutant in a watershed, the pollutant contribution from each source, and the pollutant reduction required to attain and maintain water quality standards. In TMDL calculations, all identified sources of the particular pollutant are quantified, including both point and nonpoint sources of pollution. Because some TMDL calculations involve assumptions and professional judgment, TMDLs also include a margin of safety to account for uncertainty. (See TMDLs [Total Maximum Daily Loads]: Terms and Definitions, Virginia Cooperative Extension publication 442-550, http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/442-550/.)

May 1, 2009 442-559
Rainwater Harvesting Systems May 9, 2014 BSE-116NP
Streamside Livestock Exclusion: A tool for increasing farm income and improving water quality

Did you know that livestock, like humans, prefer a clean water source and are healthier and more productive when they drink clean water? Virginia producers who have restricted or eliminated livestock access to streams and farm ponds and converted to a clean, alternative water source have observed increased livestock productivity, improved water quality, and restored stream banks on their farms. As a consequence, livestock stream exclusion practices are gaining popularity across Virginia. This publication, produced through the cooperation of Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, describes the findings, experiences, and successes of individual producers who are limiting livestock stream access.

Dec 13, 2012 442-766
TMDLs (Total Maximum Daily Loads) - Terms and Definitions

The definitions of TMDL-related terms presented here are intended to provide the reader with a working knowledge of terms that apply to Virginia's TMDL program. This is the first in a series of Virginia Cooperative Extension publications that deal specifically with TMDLs. The federal Clean Water Act requires States to develop TMDLs for streams, rivers, lakes and estuaries that do not or are not expected to meet applicable water quality standards. This glossary is designed to assist the reader in understanding and interpreting TMDL related information that may come from sources as varied as governmental agencies, environmental groups, consulting firms, or the news media.

May 1, 2009 442-550
TMDLs (Total Maximum Daily Loads) for Bacteria Impairments

A water-quality "impairment" exists if a body of water is unable to support its designated uses. (Italicized terms are defined in the boxes at the bottom of each page.) Virginia's water-quality standards specify that surface waters are either designated for "recreational use" (e.g., swimming, fishing, and boating) or "aquatic life use" (e.g., viable fishing populations). To support the "recreational use," the state sets numeric waterquality criteria for the maximum amount of bacteria in surface waters (Escherichia coli (E. coli)) for fresh water and enterococci for marine waters). When the concentration of bacteria exceeds the state-specified water-quality criteria, the water does not support the designated recreational use and is deemed to have a bacteria or pathogen impairment. E. coli and enterococci bacteria are found in the intestinal tracts and feces of warm-blooded animals, including humans. High counts of these bacteria indicate the presence of fecal contamination in water.

May 1, 2009 442-555
TMDLs (Total Maximum Daily Loads) for Benthic Impairments
"Benthic" refers to the aquatic organisms living in or on the bottom of a body of water. Benthic organisms include crayfish, aquatic snails, clams, leeches, aquatic worms, certain insect larvae and nymphs (e.g., mayflies, dragonflies), and adult aquatic insects (e.g., riffle beetles). Changes in water quality generally result in changes in the types, numbers, or diversity of the benthic community.

In general, a water quality "impairment" exists if a body of water does not support its designated uses. Italicized terms are defined in the boxes at the bottom of each page.

May 1, 2009 442-556
Using Reclaimed Water Apr 30, 2014 BSE-115NP
Virginia Household Water Quality Program: Bacteria and Other Microorganisms in Household Water May 17, 2011 442-662
Virginia Household Water Quality Program: Corrosive Household Water May 17, 2011 442-665
Virginia Household Water Quality Program: Fluoride in Household Water Dec 2, 2011 442-660
Virginia Household Water Quality Program: Hardness in Household Water May 17, 2011 442-664
Virginia Household Water Quality Program: Heavy Metals in Household Water Dec 2, 2011 442-657
Virginia Household Water Quality Program: Household Water Treatment Aug 22, 2013 442-670 (BSE-75P)
Virginia Household Water Quality Program: Iron and Manganese in Household Water Dec 2, 2011 442-656
Virginia Household Water Quality Program: Nitrate in Household Water Dec 2, 2011 442-659
Virginia Household Water Quality Program: Shock Chlorination: Disinfecting Private Household Water Supply Systems May 17, 2011 442-663
Virginia Household Water Quality Program: Sodium and Chloride in Household Drinking Water Dec 2, 2011 442-661
Virginia Household Water Quality Program: Sulfate and Hydrogen Sulfide in Household Water Dec 2, 2011 442-658
Virginia Household Water Quality Program: Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in Household Water May 17, 2011 442-666
Water Reuse: Using Reclaimed Water for Irrigation

Water reuse can be defined as the use of reclaimed water for a direct beneficial purpose. The use of reclaimed water for irrigation and other purposes has been employed as a water conservation practice in Florida, California, Texas, Arizona, and other states for many years.

May 1, 2009 452-014