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Glossary of Terms

Activated carbon – Also referred to as activated charcoal. These are carbon fibers or powder that filter contaminants and other impurities from the water through adsorption.

Acidity  The amount of acid (or low pH) in water

Adsorption – The ability of a substance to attach to a surface.

Aeration – A water treatment process that circulates oxygen through the water to remove dissolved gases and metals.

Alkalinity – The ability of water to neutralize acid.

Aquifer – Underground rock formations or layers of sediment that contain groundwater.

Arsenic – A potent chemical that naturally occurs in the earth’s crust that is present throughout the environment, including air, soil, plants, and water.

Artesian Well – Groundwater contained in a confined aquifer under positive pressure.

Bacteria – Single-cell microscopic organisms that can live in a variety of environments, including city or well water.

Brackish Water – Occurs when seawater mixes with freshwater.

Brine – A solution of water that contains a high concentration of sodium.

Brine Tank – A container that holds the brine.

Buffer – A solution containing an acid and a base that can resist changes in pH.

Calcium Carbonate – A chemical that naturally occurs in rocks, such as limestone, and is often found in groundwater.

Chlorination – A process that adds chlorine to disinfect the water.

Chloramine – An alternative or secondary disinfectant comprised of chlorine and ammonia used in community water treatment plants.

Cloudy Water– A condition that results in the loss of transparency due to high concentrations of dissolved solids.

Deionization – A process that removes charged ions, molecules, or atoms from water.

Disinfection – A procedure that kills germs or bacteria.

Filtration – A physical operation for removing impurities.

Flow rate – The measurement of the movement of water in a specific period of time.

Fluoridation – The act of adding fluoride to drinking water.

Groundwater – A body of water beneath the land surface.

Hard Water – Water that contains high concentrations of dissolved minerals.

Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) – A naturally occurring colorless, corrosive, and flammable gas that can occur in sewers and water wells that smells like “rotten eggs.”

Ion – Atoms that are electrically charged.

Ion Exchange – A chemical process that replaces undesirable ions (calcium and magnesium) with desirable ions (sodium and potassium) to soften water.

Lime Scale – White, chalky deposits that hard water minerals leave behind in plumbing, fixtures, appliances, and other surfaces.

Iron & Manganese – Minerals that naturally occur throughout the environment that can contaminate well water when high concentrations are found.

Magnesium – An essential mineral found in the earth, water, plants, and humans, that causes hard water when high levels are present.

Methane – A naturally occurring colorless, odorless, and flammable gas that can contaminate groundwater and wells due to decaying organic matter or industrial activities.

Parasite – A living organism that can contaminate drinking water and cause disease.

pH (potential of hydrogen) – The potential of hydrogen scale is used to determine acidity or basicity or alkalinity of water.

PFOA / PFOS– Perfluorooctanoic Acid / Perfluorooctane Sulfonate are synthetic compounds that were widely used to manufacture water-resistant and stain-resistant products. They were discontinued due to health concerns and harmful effects on the environment, but can still be found in water.

Poor Appliance Performance– The degradation in the functioning of appliances due to the effects of hard water, acidity, and other water quality problems.

Resin – Polymer beads that facilitate the ion exchange in water softener systems.

Reverse Osmosis (RO) – a filtration process that removes impurities by pushing water through a semi-permeable membrane under pressure.

Semi-Permeable Membrane – A polymer material that contains tiny pores to separate relatively pure water from impurities in a reverse-osmosis water filtration system.

Scaling, Staining & Spotting – The side effects of hard water and water quality problems that typically appear in plumbing, fixtures, appliances, and other household items.

Sulfur – A natural chemical found in groundwater that causes a foul odor, bad taste,
and yellow stains.

Ultraviolet (UV) Disinfection – A water treatment process that uses specific wavelengths of light to kill bacteria and viruses without chemicals.

Virus – A microscopic infectious agent that can survive in water and multiply in living cells and spread to new cells and hosts.

Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) – Natural or synthetic compounds that can contaminate groundwater and cause adverse health and environmental effects.

Water conditioning – a water softening process without the use of salt or chemicals.

Water softening – the reduction or removal of hard water minerals.

Water Filtration and Purification Systems

Life is better with clean, odor-free, and better-tasting water from Atlantic Coast Water Clinic. Our customized water treatment and purification systems by Kinetico significantly improve water quality for homes and businesses that use private well or city water along the Treasure Coast, including Vero Beach, Lakewood Park, Port St. Lucie, Hobe Sound, Stuart, and communities throughout Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River counties. Contact a professional, trained water specialist today!

Get a Free Analysis & Quote from Atlantic Coast Water Clinic for any of our solutions. Call (772) 283-4767 or use our online form at the top of the page.