Glossarywq |


Zinc (Zn):

Zinc (Zn): The MCL is 5 mg/L because of problems with the aesthetic quality due to the taste of zinc.

Water table

Water table is the upper level of a saturated formation where the water is at atmospheric pressure. The water table is the upper surface of an unconfined aquifer.

Yeast and Molds

Yeast and Molds: Yeast and molds are fungi. A fungus is a colorless (i.e. lacking chlorophyll) plant with practically no differentiation of cell structure. Yeast are small single-celled forms that reproduce by budding or spore formation. Molds produce spores for both asexual and sexual reproduction. Yeast and mold analysis is typically done on air-borne samples and surface wipes.

Unsaturated formation

Unsaturated formation (vadose zone) is the soil or other geologic material usually located between the land surface and a saturated formation where the voids spaces or cracks are filled with a combination of air and water.

Vanadium (V):

Vanadium (V):Currently there is no specific MCL for vanadium. Vanadium may cause respiratory problems and inhibition of Na and K in ATP production


Watersheds are regional basins drained by or contributing water to a particular point stream river lake or ocean. Watersheds range in size from a few acres to large areas of the country.

Total Dissolved Solids

Total Dissolved Solids: Is determined by filtering a measured volume of sample through a standard glass fiber filter. The filtrate (i.e. filtered liquid) is then evaporated to dryness at a constant temperature of 180 C. High total dissolved solids may effect the aesthetic quality of the water interfere with washing clothes and corroding plumbing fixtures. For aesthetic reasons a limit of 500 mg dissolved solids/L is typically recommended for potable

Total Volatile Solids

Total Volatile Solids: The residue for previous testing is then ignited at a temperature of 500 C. The change in the weight represents the amount of suspended or dissolved solids that are organic in nature or volatilized. The parameter is typically used in wastewater treatment plants because it provides an estimate of the organic matter content within the waste stream.

Total Solids

Total Solids: The total amount of solids in the sample which includes: dissolved suspended and volatile.

Total Suspended Solids

Total Suspended Solids: A fixed volume of sample is filtered through a preweighed and washed glass fiber filter. The filter is then rinsed and dried at 103 to 105 C. The change in the weight of the filter represents the weight of suspended material. This test is typically done for surfacewater supplies and wastewater treatment plants. For drinking water turbidity is parameter that is typically monitored.


Turbidity: Turdidity is a measure of the cloudiness or opaqueness of the water and is measured in nephelometric turbidity units (ntu). The turbidity is influenced by the amount and nature of suspended organic and inorganic material in water. Typically the higher the concentration of the suspended material the greater the turbidity. The value of 1 ntu is recommend for drinking water since higher turbidities could cause aesthetic problems or inhibit


Transmissivity is the capacity of an aquifer to transmit water. It is dependent on the water-transmitting characteristics of the saturated formation (hydraulic conductivity) and the saturated thickness. For example sand and gravel formations typically have greater hydraulic conductivities than sandstone formations. The sand and gravel will have a greater transmissivity if both formations are the same thickness.