GLOSSARY

AERATION BIOREACTORS – in water quality, devices that circulate air through a fluid and use biological processes to remove contaminants

AQUIFER – an underground layer of water-bearing rock or materials (gravel, sand, or silt) from which groundwater can be extracted

ASSESSMENT DISTRICT – a method of financing improvements, which requires those benefitting from a project to pay a fee

CALIFORNIA REGIONAL WATER QUALITY CONTROL BOARD – a state body that regulates wastewater, and that implemented the ban on septic discharge in the Yucca Valley area

BASIN – see groundwater basin

CENTRALIZED WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT – a facility where all wastewater or sewage in a system comes to be cleaned

CONTAMINANT – microorganisms, chemicals, minerals, waste or anything aside from pure water

DEBT FORGIVENESS – when an amount borrowed is cancelled or reduced, as in loans from the State Revolving Fund

DISCHARGE – the release of treated water into the environment, such as the release of waste from septic systems into the water table

GROUNDWATER – water found in aquifers underground, which can be accessed using wells

GROUNDWATER BASIN – an area with distinct boundaries and permeable material beneath it that is capable of storing groundwater  

MEMBRANE BIOREACTORS – the combination of a filter with a device that supports a biologically active environment in which organisms are used to remove contaminants from water

NITRATE – a compound that contains nitrogen and oxygen found in water as a result of fertilizer use or sewage contamination

PERCOLATE – filter gradually through a porous surface or substance

PUMPING STATIONS – facilities that provide the pressure to move fluids (usually water or wastewater) from one place to another

RECYCLED WATER – former wastewater or sewage that is treated to remove solids and certain impurities; this water can be used for landscaping as an alternative to drinking water

SEPTIC DISCHARGE – any leakage or release of material from septic pipes or tanks

SEPTIC PUMPING/SEPTIC TANK PUMPING – usually a commercial service that removes waste from a septic tank or system

SEPTIC SYSTEMS – the pipes and tanks that manage the wastewater coming from a single home or business

SEPTIC TANK – an underground receptacle for waste from a single home or building

SEWER COLLECTION SYSTEM/SEWER SYSTEM – a system of pipes and facilities that carries and manages waste from many homes and businesses

STATE REVOLVING FUND LOANS – low-cost loans offered to water purveyors to finance infrastructure improvement

WASTEWATER – used water that contains dissolved and suspended matter; e.g. water from shower drainage and toilet flushing

WASTEWATER COLLECTION – the sewer pipes and pumping system used to convey domestic, commercial or industrial wastewater

WASTEWATER TREATMENT – any process that removes contaminants, constituents or impurities from wastewater

WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT – a facility that removes contaminants, constituents or impurities from wastewater

WATER RECLAMATION RECHARGE PONDS – open areas of land where water is able to percolate back into the aquifer

WATER SUPPLY – the source(s) from which a community receives its water