Water abbreviations and acronyms

A list of meanings and explanations (Glossary) to water related abbreviations and acronyms

Abbreviation - Acronym

Meaning - Explanation

AC Alternating current
ADI Acceptable daily intake
AOC Assimilable Organic Carbon
AOS Adult onsite exposure
AWWA American Water Works Association (www.awwa.org)
AWWARF American Water Works Association Research Foundation (www.awwarf.com)
BAC Biological Activated Carbon (water treatment)
BAF Biological Aerated Filter (wastewater treatment)
BATNEEC Best Available Techniques Not Entailing Excessive Costs
BOD5 Biochemical Oxygen Demand (over a 5 day period)
BPEO Best Practicable Environmental Option
BSE Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
BSRIA Building Services Research & Information Association (UK)
BTEX Benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and total xylenes
CAA Clean air act (EPA)
CAP Common Agricultural Policy (European Union)
CAPEX Capital Expenditure investment
CCTV Closed Circuit Television
CESWI Civil Engineering Specification for the Water Industry
CFC Chlorofluorocarbons
cfu Colony Forming Unit (Microbiology)
CHP Combined Heat and Power
CJD Creutzfeld-Jakob's Disease
COD Chemical Oxygen Demand (water treatment)
CORDIS Community Research and Development Information Service ( of the European Community)
CSO Combined Sewer Overflow
CVOC Chlorinated volatile organic compound
DAF Dissolved Air Flotation (water and wastewater treatment)
DBP Disinfection By-Product
DMA District Meter Area (leakage control)
DO Dissolved Oxygen (water chemistry)
DOC Dissolved organic carbon
DTI Department of Trade and Industry (UK)
EBCT Empty Bed Contact Time (water treatment)
EEA European environmental agency
EEC European economic Community or Commision
EHS Environment and Heritage Service (www.doeni.gov.uk)
EMAS Eco-Management and Audit Scheme
EMS Environmental Management System
EPA Environment Protection Agency (US)
ESA Environmentally Sensitive Area
EQO Environmental Quality Objective
EQS Environmental Quality Standard
EU European Union
EUREAU European Union of National Associations of Water Suppliers and Waste Water Services
EWPCA European Water Pollution Control Association (www.atv.de/ewpca/ewpca.htm)
EWRI European Water Research Institutes partnership
FAO Food and Agriculture Organization ( of the United Nations)
FI Fouling index
GAC Granular Activated Carbon
GC Gas chromatography
GCMS Gas chromatograph + mass spectrometer
GLV Guideline Value (water quality standards)
GMO Genetically Modified Organism
HACCP Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point
HDPE High density polyethylene
HC hydrocarbons
IPC Integrated Pollution Control
IWA International Water Association
IWSA International Water Supply Association
IWW Industrial waste water
IPPC Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control
JTU Jackson turbidity unit
LDPE Low density polyethylene
MAC Maximum admissible concentration
MB Mixed Bed
MCL Maximum Contaminant Level (water quality standards)
mgd Million gallons per day
mld Megalitres per day
MTBE Methyl-tert-butyl ether (water chemistry)
NAPL Non Aqueous phase liquid
ND Not detected
NF Nanofiltration
NOx Nitrogen Oxide (Air Quality)
NOSWA North of Scotland Water Authority
NTU Nephelometric Turbidity Unit (water chemistry)
OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (www.oecd.org)
OPEX Operating Expenditure on a recurring annual basis
OSEC On-Site Electrolytic Chlorination (water treatment)
PAC Powdered Activated Carbon (water treatment)
PAH Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (water chemistry)
PCV Prescribed Concentration or Value (water quality standards)
pe Population Equivalent (wastewater treatment)
pH Hydrogen potential
ppb Parts per billion
ppm Parts per million
ppt Parts per trillion
PRV Pressure Reducing Valve (water distribution)
PTE Potentially Toxic Element
PVC Polyvinyl Chloride
RBC Rotating Biological Contactor (wastewater treatment)
RBTS Reed Bed Treatment System (wastewater treatment)
RO Reverse Osmosis (water treatment)
RTC Real Time Control
SBR Sequencing Batch Reactor (wastewater treatment)
SCADA Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (system)
SDWA Safe Drinking Water Act (US legislation)
SME Small and Medium Sized Enterprises
SI International system of Units
SS Suspended Solids (wastewater treatment)
SSSI Site of Special Scientific Interest
STW Sewage Treatment Works
TAD Thermophilic Aerobic Digestion (wastewater sludge treatment)
tds Total dissolved solids (water chemistry) or tonne of dried solids (sewage sludge)
THM Trihalomethane (water chemistry)
TDS Total dissolved solids
TKN Total Kjeldahl nitrogen
TOC Total Organic Carbon (water chemistry)
TSS Total suspended solids
TTHMs Total Trihalomethanes
TWL Top Water level (water reservoirs)
TZW Technologiezentrum Wasser (Karlsruhr, Germany)
UNEP United Nations Environment Programme
UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UV Ultraviolet Radiation
VFA Volatile Fatty Acid (wastewater chemistry)
VOC's Volatile Organic Compound(s) or Chemicals
WC Water column
WEF Water Environment Federation (USA) (www.wef.org)
WERF Water Environment Research Foundation (USA) (www.werf.org)
WTP Water treatment plant
WWTP Waste water treatment plant
WHO World Health Organization


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