|Action Level (AL)
||The concentration of a contaminant that, if exceeded,
triggers treatment or other requirements that a water system must follow.
|Acute Health Effect
||An immediate (within hours or days) effect that may result
from exposure to certain drinking water contaminants.
||American Clean Water Association
||American Public Works Association
||A natural underground layer that contains water.
||Filter material that is placed in the annular space to
increase the effective diameter of the well, and to prevent fine-grained
sediments from entering the well.
||Association of State Drinking Water Administrators
|Aquifer Storage and Recovery Well (ASR)
||A water well that allows potable water to be injected into
a subsurface aquifer to be recovered by pumping at a later date.
||Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
||American Water Resources Association
||American Water Works Association
|Backflow Prevention Device
||A safety device used to prevent contamination of the
potable water supply from the reverse flow of water from an irrigation system
or other customer activity back into the potable distribution system.
||Best Available Technology: the best technology, treatment
techniques, or other means available, while taking cost into
||Parent solid rock formation underlying weathered rock and
||The regular interval of time when customer’s bills are
issued, generally every month (monthly) or two months (bimonthly).
||Best Management Practice(s)
|Boil Water Notice/Advisory
||A notice, whether written or verbal, issued by the
Department, or the owner or operator of a public water system, notifying the
users of the water system that the water is/may be contaminated and to boil
the water (vigorous rolling boil for at least one minute) prior to using it
for drinking or cooking. The notice shall give the reason for its issuance
and corrective actions being taken.
||Any pump installed within a water distribution system for
the purpose of increasing the water pressure in the water distribution
||A document consisting of three sub plans; a “Facilities
Plan”, a “Management Plan”, and a “Financing Plan” which is intended to show
how a water system will be self-sustaining, and have the commitment and the
financial, managerial and technical capability to consistently comply with
the State Safe Drinking Water Act.
||Corrective Action Plan
||Consumer Confidence Report: An annual water quality report to be supplied to
all customers of Community Public Water Systems, summarizing information
regarding sources used, any detected contaminants, compliance and educational
information. The CCR is due to customers by July 1st of each year.
||Community Development Block Grant
||Center for Environmental Education
||A laboratory approved by DHEC or EPA to conduct water
||Any person holding an up-to-date backflow prevention
assembly tester certification card issued by DHEC.
|Certified Well Driller
||Any person currently certified by the State Environmental
Certification Board to practice as a well driller in
||Code of Federal Regulations
||A valve that allows flow in only one direction, preventing
|Chronic Health Effect
||The possible result of exposure over many years to a
drinking water contaminant at levels above its MCL.
||A process using coagulant chemicals and mixing by which
colloidal and suspended materials are destabilized and agglomerated into
||A group of related bacteria whose presence in drinking
water may indicate contamination by disease-causing microorganisms.
|Combined Distribution System
||The interconnected distribution system consisting of the
distribution systems of wholesale systems and of the consecutive systems that
receive finished water.
|Community Water System
||A water system that supplies drinking water to 25 or more
of the same people year-round in their residences.
||The act of meeting all state and federal drinking water
||A charge assessed to a new account by a
water utility that generally covers the cost of hooking up to the
system and compensates the utility for prior water system improvements that
made the capacity available.
||Anything found in water (including microorganisms,
minerals, chemicals, radionuclides, etc.) that may be harmful to human
|CPE: Comprehensive Performance Evaluation
||A thorough review and analysis of a treatment plant’s
performance-based capabilities and associated administrative, operation and
maintenance practices. It is conducted to identify factors that may be
adversely impacting a plant’s capability to achieve compliance and emphasizes
approaches that can be implemented without significant capital improvements.
|Cone of Depression
||The depression in the water table or potentiometric
surface in an aquifer caused by pumping water from a well and usually having
the shape of an inverted cone.
||A public water system that receives some or all of its
finished water from one or more wholesale systems. Delivery may be through a
direct connection or through the distribution system of one or more
|Conventional Filtration Treatment
||A series of processes including coagulation, flocculation,
sedimentation, and filtration resulting in substantial particulate removal.
||A substance capable of reducing the corrosivity of water
toward metal plumbing materials, especially lead and copper, by forming a
protective film on the interior surface of those materials.
||Any actual or potential connection or structural
arrangement between a public water supply and any other source or system
through which it is possible to introduce into any part of the potable system
any used water, industrial fluid, gas or substance other than the intended
potable water which the system is supplied. Bypass arrangements, jumper
connections, removable sections, swivel or changeover devices and other
temporary or permanent devices through which or because of which backflow can
or may occur are considered to be cross-connections.
||A microorganism commonly found in lakes and rivers, which is highly resistant to disinfection, and can
cause gastrointestinal illness with symptoms that include diarrhea, nausea,
and/or stomach cramps.
|CT or Ctcalc
||The product of “residual disinfectant concentration” in
mg/L determined before or at the first customer, and the corresponding
“disinfectant contact time” in minutes. If a public water system applies
disinfectants at more than one point prior to the first customer, it shall
determine the CT of each disinfectant sequence before or at the first
customer to determine the total percent inactivation or “total inactivation
ratio”. A total inactivation ratio equal to or greater than 1.0 is assumed to
provide a 3-log inactivation of Giardia lamblia cysts.
State Ground Water
||Compliance Sampling Inspection
||Clean Water Act (aka FWPCA: Federal Water Pollution and
|Dedicated Fire Line
||A water line connected to a public water system that is
designed and used solely for a fire protection system. Such lines must be
provided with an acceptable and approved backflow prevention device and must
not connect at any point downstream of that device with water lines or
fixtures that are used for potable water.
||The process of removing salt from brackish water or sea
water, producing water suitable for fresh water uses and concentrated brine.
||Water that has been captured in reservoirs, diverted from
rivers/streams, or accessed by wells for use by society.
||Repairing damage to the aquifer caused by drilling
procedures and increasing the porosity and permeability of the geologic
materials surrounding the intake portion of the well.
||A series of processes including coagulation and filtration
but excluding sedimentation resulting in substantial particulate removal.
||A chemical (commonly chlorine, chloramines, or ozone) or
physical process (ultraviolet light) used in any part of the treatment or
distribution process, that is intended to kill or inactivate pathogenic
microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and protozoa.
|Disinfectant Contact Time
||The time in minutes that it takes for water to move from
the point of disinfectant application or the previous point of disinfectant
residual measurement to a point before or at the point where residual
disinfectant concentration is measured.
||The water is free of harmful or pathogenic organisms.
||A facility where additional treatment is provided to water
from an approved public water system, and that treated water is available to
the general public.
||A network of pipes leading from a treatment plant to
customers’ plumbing systems.
|Distribution Treatment Plant
||Any facility located within a distribution system capable
of altering the physical, chemical, radiological, or bacteriological quality
of the water in a public water system.
||Method of Measuring Chlorine Residual in Water
State Revolving Fund
||A document that consists of an assessment of the current
and foreseeable water supply needs of a water system’s service area; a
detailed description of alternatives considered for meeting those needs;
detailed cost estimates for the construction, operation and maintenance of
the different alternatives, and the rationale for the alternative selected.
||The coliform bacteria group that is present in the
intestinal tracts and feces of humans and other warm-blooded animals.
Drinking water with fecal coliform can cause diarrhea and other
||Federal Emergency Management Agency
||A water treatment process that involves water passing
through sand or other media, where particles and other constituents are
trapped and removed from the flow.
||Water that has been treated and is ready to be delivered
||Five hundred (500) gallons per minute, or the flow
required for fire protection by the local government or public water system,
whichever is greater.
|First Draw Sample
||A one-liter sample of tap water, collected in accordance
with R.61-58.11 (H)(2), Sample Collection Methods, that has been standing in
plumbing pipes at least 6 hours and is collected without flushing the tap.
||A process to enhance agglomeration or collection of
smaller floc particles into larger particles that will settle more easily
through gentle stirring by hydraulic or mechanical means.
||The rate at which a volume of water flows through pipes,
valves, etc. in a given period of time. Often reported as cubic feet per
second (cfs) or gallons-per-minute (gpm).
||Facility Management Plan
||Freedom of Information Act
||Federal Water Pollution and Control Act (aka CWA: Clean
||Granular Activated Carbon
||A microorganism frequently found in rivers and lakes,
which, if not treated properly, may cause diarrhea, fatigue, and cramps after
||Gallons per day
||Gallons per minute
||The water that systems pump and treat from aquifers
(natural reservoirs below the earth’s surface).
||Percolating or injecting surface water into a groundwater
basin to increase the available groundwater supply.
|Groundwater Treatment Plant
||Any facility capable of altering the physical, chemical,
radiological or bacteriological quality of groundwater for public consumption
in a public water system.
|Gross Alpha Particle Activity
||The total radioactivity due to alpha particle emission as
inferred from measurements on a dry sample.
|Gross Beta Particle Activity
||The total radioactivity due to beta particle emission as
inferred from measurements on a dry sample.
|Ground Water Rule (GWR)
||EPA issued rule that provides additional protection from
disease-causing microorganisms in public water systems with a groundwater
||Ground Water Protection Council
|Ground water under the direct influence of surface water
||Any water beneath the surface of the ground with
significant occurrence of insects or other microorganisms, algae, or
large-diameter pathogens such as Giardia lamblia, or Cryptosporidium, or
significant and relatively rapid shifts in water characteristics such as
turbidity, temperature, conductivity, or pH, which closely correlate to
climatological or surface water conditions.
||Single meter that measures utility usage for an entire
property or an entire building.
|Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL)
||The highest level of a contaminant that EPA allows in
drinking water. EPA sets MCLs at levels that are economically and
|Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG)
||The level of a contaminant at which there would be no risk
to human health. This goal is not always economically or technologically
feasible, and the goal is not legally enforceable.
|Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL)
||A level of a disinfectant added for water treatment that
may not be exceeded at the consumer’s tap without an unacceptable possibility
of adverse health effects.
|Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal (MRDLG)
||The level of a drinking water disinfectant below which
there is no known or expected risk to health.
||Tiny living organisms that can be seen only with the aid
of a microscope (also called microbes). Some microorganisms can cause acute
health problems when consumed in drinking water.
|Mixed Use Meter
||A water meter that serves more than one type of end use,
such as an office building and its surrounding landscape.
||Required testing that water systems perform to detect and
measure contaminants. A water system that does not follow EPA’s monitoring
methods or schedule is in violation, and may be subject to legal action.
|National Primary Drinking Water Regulations
||Primary drinking water regulations promulgated by the
Administrator pursuant to the Federal Act and contained in 40 CFR Part 141,
|National Secondary Drinking Water Regulations
||Secondary drinking water regulations promulgated by the
Administrator pursuant to the Federal Act, and contained in 40 CFR Part 143,
||Non-Community Water System
|Non-Coliform Growth (NCG)
||Any bacterial growth other than coliform type that appears
in a membrane filter test for coliform bacteria.
||National Interim Primary Drinking Water Regulations
||Notice of Intent
||Laboratory analysis indicates that the constituent is not
|Non-Community Water System
||A public water system which serves at least fifteen (15)
service connections or regularly serves an average of at least twenty-five
(25) individuals daily at least sixty (60) days out of the year, and does not
meet the definition of a community water system.
|Non-Transient Non-Community Water System (NTNCWS)
||A water system that supplies water to 25 or more of the
same people at least six months per year in places other than their
residences. Examples include schools, factories, office buildings, and
hospitals that have their own water systems.
|Not applicable (NA)
||Does not apply to this situation
||Water that does not, or may not, meet drinking water
||The volume of unbilled water consumption (fire fighting,
system flushing, etc.) added to real losses and apparent losses included in
||A person certified by the South Carolina Environmental
Certification Board as being qualified to operate and maintain a public water
system. Operation and maintenance responsibilities shall include, but not be
limited to, conducting tests of the raw and treated water, adjusting chemical
feed rates, and/or operating equipment so as to change the physical,
chemical, radiological or bacteriological quality of surface or ground water
to meet established standards.
|Optimal Corrosion Control Treatment
||The corrosion control treatment that minimizes the lead
and copper concentrations at users’ taps while insuring that the treatment
does not cause the water system to violate any national primary drinking
||Carbon-based chemicals, such as solvents and pesticides,
which can get into water through runoff from cropland or discharge from
factories. EPA has set legal limits on 56 organic contaminants.
|O & M
||Operations and Maintenance
||A disease-causing organism.
||Chemical symbol for lead
||The maximum demand occurring in a given period, such as
hourly, or daily, or annually.
|Per Capita Residential Use
||Average daily water use (sales) to residential customer
divided by population served.
||The quantity of radioactive material producing 2.22
nuclear transformations per minute.
||A facility or activity that may introduce any dangerous
material to the groundwater system below the water table in concentrations
sufficient to cause drinking water quality standards to be exceeded or to
decrease the quality of the drinking water
|Point-of-Entry Treatment Device (POE)
||A treatment device applied to the drinking water entering
a house or building for the purpose of reducing contaminants in the drinking
water distributed throughout the house or building.
|Point-of-Use Treatment Device (POU)
||A treatment device applied to a single tap used for the
purpose of reducing contaminants in drinking water at that one tap. Examples
include granulated activated carbon filters, reverse osmosis filters and
ion-exchange water softening devices.
||A meter that measures water flow at the actual usage
point, such as a faucet or toilet.
||Water that meets federal and state water quality standards
for water delivered to utility customers.
|Pounds Per Square Inch (PSI)
||A unit for pressure exerted by water in a distribution
||Parts per billion, also micrograms per liter (ug/l)
||Parts per million, also milligrams per liter (mg/l)
||Maintaining distribution system water pressure within
|Primary Drinking Water Regulation
||The maximum contaminant limits, the requirements for
monitoring, the requirements for reporting, record retention requirements and
public notifications specified in R.61-58.5 and R.61-58.6.
||States that have the responsibility and authority to
administer EPA’s drinking water regulations. The state must have rules at
least as stringent as EPA’s.
||A person properly qualified to perform engineering work as
provided in Title 40 of the 1976 code of Laws of South Carolina, as amended,
Chapter 22, Engineers and Land Surveyors.
||A person registered as a professional geologist by the
South Carolina State Board of Registration for Geologists.
||An advisory distributed to affected consumers when a
system has violated MCLs or other regulations. The notice advises consumers
what precautions, if any, they should take to protect their health.
|Public Service Announcement (PSA)
||An inexpensive or free advertisement or message on mass
media that serves the public good.
|Public Water System (PWS)
public or privately owned waterworks system that provides drinking water,
whether bottled or piped, for human consumption, including the source of
supply whether the source of supply is of surface or subsurface origin.
structures and appurtenances used for the collection, treatment,
storage, or distribution of drinking water delivered to consumers.
part or portion of the system and including any water treatment facility
which in any way alters the physical, chemical, radiological, or
bacteriological characteristics of drinking water; provided, that public
water system shall not include a drinking water system serving a single
private residence or dwelling.
|Running Annual Average (RAA)
||The average of a chemical level for the past four consecutive
quarters used to determine if the water system meets water quality standards.
||Any man-made or natural element that emits radiation and that
may cause cancer after many years of exposure through drinking water.
||Water in its natural state, prior to any treatment for drinking
(also called source water).
||The unit of dose equivalent from ionizing radiation to the total
body or any internal organ or organ system. A millirem (MREM) is one
one-thousandth of a rem.
|Residual Disinfectant Concentration
||The concentration of disinfectant measure in mg/L in a representative
sample of water.
|Reverse Osmosis (RO)
||A water treatment unit that forces water through several
membranes to remove various chemicals and contaminants.
||The water that is analyzed for the presence of EPA-regulated
drinking water contaminants. Depending on the regulation, EPA requires water
systems and states to take samples from source water, from water leaving the
treatment facility, or from the taps of selected consumers.
||A cap on the top of the well casing usually fitted with a rubber
expansion gasket, which seals off surface drainage, thereby protecting the
well from contamination directly down the casing.
||An on-site review of the water sources, facilities, equipment,
operation, maintenance, and record keeping of a public water system for the
purpose of evaluating the adequacy of the facilities for producing and
distributing safe drinking water.
||A basin constructed to receive the liquids spilled from any
chemical storage tank or solution tank, designed to prevent migration of any
accumulated liquid out of the basin to the soil, ground water, or surface
water at any time. The volume of the secondary containment shall equal or
exceed the volume of the tank.
Drinking Water Standards
|Non-enforceable federal guidelines regarding cosmetic effects
(such as tooth or skin discoloration) or aesthetic effects (such as taste,
odor, or color) of drinking water.
||Safe Drinking Water Act
||Safe Drinking Water Information System
||Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level: The maximum contaminant
levels, which, in the judgment of DHEC are requisite to protect the public
welfare from adverse odor or appearance of water.
Organic Chemical: Man-made organic compounds created through industrial
processes. Some SOCs evaporate easily (are volatile) while others tend to
remain dissolved in water, including pesticides and herbicides.>
|Sole Source Aquifer
||An aquifer that supplies 50 percent or more of the drinking
water of an area.
||Water in its natural state, prior to any treatment for drinking
(also called Raw Water).
|Source Water Protection
||Protecting drinking water from pollution and contamination at
its source, including wellhead protection and watershed protection.
||State Primary Drinking Water Regulations R.61-58
||State Revolving Fund offers low interest loans to drinking water
facilities for upgrades and/or improvements to their systems.
|State Water System (SWS)
||Any water system that serves less that fifteen (15) service
connections and regularly serves an average of less than twenty-five (25)
||Surface runoff of water resulting from rain or snowstorms.
||Water that systems pump and treat from sources open to the
atmosphere, such as rivers, lakes, and reservoirs.
||Surface Water Treatment Rule
||A service connection, the point at which water is delivered to
the consumer (building, dwelling, commercial establishment, camping space,
industry, etc.) from a distribution system, whether metered or not, and
regardless of whether there is a user charge for consumption of the water.
||Total Coliform Rule
||Total dissolved solids
||A group of chemicals that are a reaction by-product when
chlorine is added as a disinfectant to water containing organic materials.
These chemicals are called disinfection by-products and are regulated by the
USEPA. Some are suspected carcinogens.
|Total Organic Carbon (TOC)
||Total organic carbon in mg/L measured using heat, oxygen,
ultraviolet irradiation, chemical oxidants, or combinations of these oxidants
that convert organic carbon to carbon dioxide.
|Transient, Non-Community Water System (TNCWS)
||A water system that provides water in a place such as a gas
station or campground where people do not remain for long periods of time.
These systems do not have to test or treat their water for contaminants that
pose long-term health risks because fewer than 25 people drink the water over
a long period. They still must test their water for microbes and several
|Treatment technique (TT)
||A required process intended to reduce a contaminant in drinking
water that is above the maximum contaminant level (MCL).
||The cloudy appearance of water caused by the presence of tiny
particles. High levels of turbidity may interfere with proper water treatment
||Device to control the flow of water.
||State or EPA permission not to meet a certain drinking water
standard. The water system must provide that, due to the characteristics of the
raw water, it cannot meet the MCL, even while using the best available
treatment method, and the variance will not create an unreasonable risk to
|Viable Water System
||A water system that is self-sustaining and has the commitment
and the financial, managerial, and technical capability to consistently
comply with the State Safe Drinking Water Act.
||A failure to meet any state or federal drinking water
||Volatile Organic Compounds examples of which include petroleum-based
products like gasoline and benzene.
|Vulnerability Assessment (VA)
||An evaluation of drinking water source quality and its
vulnerability to contamination by pathogens, toxic chemicals, and terrorist
||A thorough examination of the accuracy of water agency records
and system control equipment to identify, quantify, and verify the water and
||The physical loss of water from the distribution system prior to
reaching the customer. Includes leakage from piping and reservoir walls, and
storage overflows caused by faulty control equipment or operator error. Water
losses represent a waste of water and energy.
||The land area from which water drains into a stream, river, or
||A device that reduces water hardness by replacing calcium and
magnesium ions with sodium ions.
|Water Use Efficiency
||A measure of the amount of water used versus the minimum amount
required to perform a specific task.
|Wellhead Protection Area (WHPA)
||The area surrounding a drinking water well or well field which
is protected to prevent contamination of the well(s).
||Wellhead protection program: a program designed by a water
system to protect the area surrounding a drinking water well.
||A public water system that treats source water as necessary to
produce finished water and then delivers some or all of that finished water
to another public water system.