Prepared by: Neegan Burnside Ltd.
Prepared for: Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Date: January 2011
File No: FGY163080.4
Appendix A Glossary of Terms and Acronyms
Aeration (see also lagoon): The process of bringing air into contact with a liquid (typically water), usually by bubbling air through the liquid, spraying the liquid into the air, allowing the liquid to cascade down a waterfall, or by mechanical agitation. Aeration serves to (1) strip dissolved gases from solution, and/or (2) oxygenate the liquid. (Gowen Environmental)
Aesthetic Objective (AO): Aesthetic objectives are set for drinking water quality parameters such as colour or odour, where exceeding the objective may make the water less pleasant, but not unsafe. (INAC Protocol for Decentralised Water and Wastewater)
Ammonia (See also: Potable water; Effluent quality requirements): A pungent colorless gaseous alkaline compound of nitrogen and hydrogen (NH3) that is very soluble in water and can easily be condensed to a liquid by cold and pressure (Merriam-Webster). Ammonia is used in several areas of water and wastewater treatment, such as pH control. It is also used in conjunction with chlorine to produce potable water. The existence of ammonia in wastewater is common in industrial sectors as a by-product of cleaning agents. This chemical impacts both human and environmental conditions. Treatment of ammonia can be completed in lagoon systems and mechanical plants. (R.M. Technologies)
Arsenic: A metallic element that forms a number of compounds. It is found in nature at low levels, mostly in compounds with oxygen, chlorine, and sulphur; these are called inorganic arsenic compounds. Organic arsenic in plants and animals combines with carbon and hydrogen. Inorganic arsenic is a human poison. Organic arsenic is less harmful. High levels of inorganic arsenic in food or water can be fatal. (Medicinenet.com)
Aquifer (confined): A layer of soil or rock below the land surface that is saturated with water. There are layers of impermeable material both above and below it, and it is under pressure so that when the aquifer is penetrated by a well, the water will rise above the top of the aquifer. (INAC Protocol for Decentralised Water and Wastewater Systems)
Aquifer (unconfined): An unconfined aquifer is one whose upper water surface (water table) is at atmospheric pressure, and thus is able to rise and fall. (INAC Protocol for Decentralised Water and Wastewater Systems)
As-built/record drawings: Revised set of drawing submitted by a contractor upon completion of a project or a particular job. They reflect all changes made in the specifications and working drawings during the construction process, and show the exact dimensions, geometry, and location of all elements of the work completed under the contract. Also called as-built drawings or just as-builts.
ACRS Inspection (Asset Condition Reporting System Inspection): For centralised water and wastewater systems, an ACRS (asset condition reporting system) inspection of the system is to be performed once every three (3) years by a qualified person (consulting engineer, Tribal Council engineer), who is not from the First Nation involved, to assess the condition of the asset, adequacy of maintenance efforts, and need for additional maintenance work. The ACRS inspection report will be discussed with, and submitted to, the First Nation council and the INAC regional office. Inspections will be conducted in accordance with the ACRS Manual, a copy of which can be obtained from the INAC regional office.
Bacteria (plural) bacterium (singular): Microscopic living organisms usually consisting of a single cell. Bacteria can aid in pollution control by consuming or breaking down organic matter in sewage and/or other water pollutants. Some bacteria may also cause human, animal, and plant health problems. Bacteria are predominantly found in the intestines and feces of humans and animals. The presence of coliform bacteria in water indicates the contamination of water by raw or partially treated sewage. (INAC Protocol for Decentralised Water and Wastewater Systems)
Baffle (concrete and/or curtain): Vertical/horizontal impermeable barriers in a pond or reservoir. Baffles direct the flow of water into the longest possible path through the reservoir in order to eliminate short-circuiting in the water treatment system. In potable water treatment, short-circuiting can reduce the effectiveness of disinfectants. In effluent treatment, short-circuiting may result in an increase of pollutants at the outlet. Shortcircuiting occurs when water flows directly from the inlet to the outlet across a pond or reservoir. (Layfield)
BOD5 (Biochemical Oxygen Demand): The most widely used parameter of organic pollution applied to both wastewater and surface water is the 5-day BOD (BOD5). This determination involves the measurement of the dissolved oxygen used by microorganisms in the biochemical oxidation of organic matter. BOD test results are used to: determine the approximate quantity of oxygen that will be required to biologically stabilize the organic matter present; to determine the size of waste treatment facilities; to measure the efficiency of some treatment processes; and to determine compliance with wastewater discharge permits. (Metcalf & Eddy)
Capacity (actual vs. design): Refers to the capacity of the treatment system, with the "design capacity" being the flow rate proposed by the designer or manufacturer. If the system is not operating to design levels, the "actual capacity" could be limited by failing pumps, clogged filters or not meeting the Protocol (i.e. Protocol requires two filter trains such that one could operate while another is being cleaned/repaired and this was previously not explicitly required; therefore, the actual capacity is half of the design capacity).
Chemical feed equipment: All equipment associated with introducing chemicals to the raw water as part of the treatment process including coagulants, coagulant aids, disinfectants, etc.
Chlorine: A disinfectant used in either gas or liquid from gas that is added to water to protect the consumer from bacteria and other micro-organisms. It is widely used because it is inexpensive and easily injected into water. Because of its concentration, a gallon can treat a large amount of water. However, chlorine use does have drawbacks: when chlorine is used as a disinfectant it combines with naturally occurring decaying organic matter to form Trihalomethanes (THMs). (Vital Life Systems)
Chlorination: The application of chlorine to water, sewage or industrial wastes for disinfection (reduction of pathogens) or to oxidize undesirable compounds. (City of Toronto)
Chlorine Residual: The chlorine level in potable water immediately after it has been treated. (Ontario Ministry of the Environment)
Circuit Rider (see also Circuit Rider Training Program): Under the department's Circuit Rider Trainer Program (CRTP) INAC provides funds to engage circuit riders (third party water and wastewater system experts who provide water and wastewater system operators with on-site, mentoring, training, and emergency assistance). The third-party service providers that provide circuit rider services also provide operators with a 24/7 emergency hotline. (INAC Protocol for Centralised Wastewater Systems in First Nations Communities)
Circuit Rider Training Program: The main vehicle by which most First Nations operators receive the required training to operate their systems. This program provides qualified experts who rotate through a circuit of communities, providing hands-on training for the operators on their own system. Circuit rider trainers also help the First Nations with minor troubles and issues of operation and maintenance of their systems. (INAC Plan of Action)
Cistern: A tank for storing potable water or other liquids, usually placed above the ground. (Bow River Basin Council, cited in Alberta Environment Glossary)
Class "D" Cost Estimates: A preliminary estimate, for each community visited, based on available site information, which indicates the approximate magnitude (+/- 40%) of the cost of the actions recommended in the report, and which may be used in developing long-term capital plans and for a preliminary discussion of proposed capital projects.
Collection piping: Sanitary sewer collecting wastewater from individual buildings and homes, for treatment and disposal at a public facility.
Component risk / component risk factors: The overall risk is determined by five component risks: water source/effluent, design, operation, reporting, and operator.
Community Health Representatives (CHRs): Health Canada's local health representatives. They undertake bacteriological and chlorine residual sampling of distributed water within most First Nation communities.
Contact piping: Dedicated watermain to provide chlorine contact time before potable water is distributed to the first user.
Containment liners (for on-site fuel storage): A form of secondary containment used for diesel driven generators or fire pumps.
Continuous discharge to a receiving body: The release of treated wastewater effluent to a lake, river, stream, etc. where the rate of release is continuous (i.e. not batch discharge).
Conventional Wastewater Treatment: Consists of preliminary processes, primary settling to remove heavy solids and floatable materials, secondary biological aeration to metabolize and flocculate colloidal and dissolved organics, and secondary settling to remove additional solids. Tertiary treatment such as disinfection or filtration to further treat the wastewater depending on the level of treatment required for discharge. Waste sludge drawn from these operations is thickened and processed for ultimate disposal, usually either land application or landfilling. Preliminary treatment processes include coarse screening, medium screening, shredding of solids, flow measuring, pumping, grit removal, and pre-aeration. Chlorination of raw wastewater sometimes is used for odor control and to improve settling characteristics of the solids.
Conventional Water Treatment: Consists of a combination of coagulation (adding chemicals called coagulants), flocculation (particles binding together with coagulants) and sedimentation (settling of particles) to remove a large amount of organic compounds and suspended particles, filtration (water passing through porous media) to remove bacteria protozoa and viruses (slow sand filtration) or suspended particles (rapid sand filtration), and disinfection to ensure all the bacteria protozoa and viruses are removed, and provide safe drinking water.
Cross connections: A cross connection is a link between a possible source of pollution and a potable water supply. A pollutant may enter the potable water system when a) the pressure of the pollution source exceeds the pressure of the potable water source or b) when a sudden loss of pressure occurs in the water system and "backflow" occurs. The flow through a water treatment plant should have no instances of treated water coming into contact with raw or wastewater. Backflow preventers should be tested regularly and any actual physical links should be removed.
Decentralized System: A group or groups of communal (as opposed to private) on-site water or wastewater systems. (INAC Protocol for Decentralised Water and Wastewater Systems)
Dedicated transmission main: A length of watermain which has no service connections or hydrants; can refer to the length of raw watermain from a raw water source to the water treatment plant or in the distribution system where there are larger distances between homes.
Discharge Frequency: The frequency in which treated wastewater is discharged; could be continuous, seasonal, annual, etc.
Discharge quality data: Data acquired through the completion of a laboratory analysis of treated wastewater effluent prior to obtaining permission to discharge. Relevant parameters for testing include: 5 day Biochemical Oxygen Demand, Suspended Solids, Fecal Coliforms, pH, Phenols, Oils & Greases, Phosphorus and Temperature.
Disinfectant: A disinfectant is a chemical (commonly chlorine, chloramines, or ozone) or physical process (e.g., ultraviolet light) that inactivates or kills microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. (INAC Protocol for Decentralised Water and Wastewater Systems)
Disinfection: A process that has as its objective destroying or inactivating pathogenic micro-organisms in water. (Government of Alberta, Environmental Protection and EnhancementAct, cited in Alberta Environment Glossary)
Disinfection By-products: Disinfection by-products are chemical, organic and inorganic substances that can form during a reaction of a disinfectant with naturally present organic or anthropogenic matter in the water. (Lenntech)
Distribution Classification > piped / trucked: Refers to the classification of the delivery of potable water leaving the water treatment plant. This can be either piped (via watermain) or trucked (via truck delivery to individual homes/cisterns). The level of classification involves the number of house connections (population served).
Domestic flows: All demands in the water system excluding fire flows.
Drinking Water: Water of sufficiently high quality that can be consumed or used without risk of immediate or long term harm.
Drinking Water Advisory (DWA): Drinking Water Advisories (DWAs) are preventive measures that are regularly issued in municipalities and communities across Canada; they protect public health from waterborne contaminants that can be present in drinking water. A DWA can be issued in any community and may include boil water advisories, do not consume advisories and do not use advisories. (INAC "Fact Sheet")
Effluent: 1. The liquid waste of municipalities/communities, industries, or agricultural operations. Usually the term refers to a treated liquid released from a wastewater treatment process. (Bow River) 2. The discharge from any on-site sewage treatment component. (Alberta Municipal Affairs; cited in Alberta Environment Glossary)
Effluent quality data: Any test results or monitoring data that describes the condition of treated wastewater effluent.
Effluent Quality Requirements: All effluents from wastewater systems in Canada must comply with all applicable federal legislation including the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 and the Fisheries Act, as well as any other applicable legislation, including provincial, depending on the geographical location of the system. In addition, all discharges from First Nations wastewater systems shall meet the quality requirements found in the Guidelines for Effluent Quality and Wastewater Treatment at Federal Establishments - EPS 1-EC-76-1 (1976 Guidelines).
For the purposes of determining effluent quality related to ammonia and chlorine, the Notice Requiring the Preparation and Implementation of Pollution Prevention Plans for Inorganic Chloramines and Chlorinated Wastewater Effluents and the Guideline for the Release of Ammonia Dissolved in Water Found in Wastewater Effluents contain additional and/or updated information to the requirements provided in the 1976 Guidelines.
A copy of the Guideline for the Release of Ammonia Dissolved in Water Found in Wastewater Effluents can be found at Environment Canada's website. (INAC Protocol for Centralised Wastewater Systems in First Nations Communities)
Effluent Receiver (also referred to as the receiving body; the receiving environment; the receiver) (see also Effluent and Component risks): The environment that receives treated wastewater, including lakes, rivers, wetlands, sub-surfaces, title fields, open marines, and enclosed bays. It may also refer to a community's method for dealing with wastewater (e.g. Municipal Type Agreements or evaporation).
Elevated Storage: A water tower, which is a reservoir or storage tank mounted on a tower-like structure at the summit of an area of high ground in a place where the water pressure would otherwise be inadequate for distribution at a uniform pressure. (Collins)
Emergency Response Plan (ERP): Emergency response plans for water and wastewater systems are intended to be a quick reference to assist operators and other stakeholders in managing and responding to emergency situations. They include key contact information for persons to be notified and for persons who may be of assistance (e.g. agencies, contractors, suppliers, etc.), as well as standard communication and response protocols. Emergency response plans identify recommended action for "foreseeable" emergencies, and provide methodologies for unforeseen situations.
Facultative Lagoon: The most common type of wastewater treatment lagoon used by small communities and individual households. Facultative lagoons rely on both aerobic and anaerobic decomposition of waste, can be adapted for use in most climates and require no machinery to treat wastewater.
Filter: A device used to remove solids from a mixture or to separate materials. Materials are frequently separated from water using filters. (Edwards Aquifier)
Filter train equipment: Includes all components that form part of the water filtration process from where the raw water enters the filter process to where the filtered water leaves the treatment unit. This does not refer to the disinfection equipment.
Filtration: The mechanical process which removes particulate matter by separating water from solid material, usually by passing it through sand. (Edwards Aquifier)
Fire pump tests: A monthly test for the basic operation and functionality of the fire pump.
Grade Level Storage: A treated water storage reservoir that is constructed at grade, typically with earth mounded on top to provide some frost protection.
GPS: Global Positioning System (GPS) -A navigational system involving satellites and computers that can determine the latitude and longitude of a receiver on Earth by computing the time difference for signals from different satellites to reach the receiver.
Groundwater: Groundwater is any water that is obtained from a subsurface water-bearing soil unit (called an aquifer). 1) Water that flows or seeps downward and saturates soil or rock, supplying springs and wells. The upper surface of the saturate zone is called the water table. 2) Water stored underground in rock crevices and in the pores of geologic materials that make up the Earth's crust. (INAC, Protocol for Decentralised Water and Wastewater Systems)
Groundwater, confined: Groundwater that is under pressure significantly greater than atmospheric, with its upper limit the bottom of a bed with hydraulic conductivity distinctly lower than that of the material in which the confined water occurs. (INAC, Protocol for Decentralised Water and Wastewater Systems)
Groundwater, unconfined: Water in an aquifer that has a water table that is exposed to the atmosphere. (INAC Protocol for Decentralised Water and Wastewater Systems)
Groundwater under the direct influence of surface water (GUDI): This term refers to groundwater sources (e.g., wells, springs, infiltration galleries, etc.) where microbial pathogens are able to travel from nearby surface water to the groundwater source. (Government of Nova Scotia)
Guidelines: Guidelines as referred to in this Assessment include all federal and provincial water and wastewater guidelines for domestic potable water and household sanitary waste. These guidelines include the "Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality" and all its recommended health and aesthetic guidelines for water quality.
Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality (GCDWQ): Water quality guidelines developed by the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Drinking Water and have been published by Health Canada since 1968.
Canadian drinking water supplies are generally of excellent quality. However, water in nature is never "pure." It picks up traces of everything it comes into contact with, including minerals, silt, vegetation, fertilizers, and agricultural run-off. While most of these substances are harmless, some may pose a health risk. To address this risk, Health Canada works with the provincial and territorial governments to develop guidelines that set out the maximum acceptable concentrations of these substances in drinking water. These drinking water guidelines are designed to protect the health of the most vulnerable members of society, such as children and the elderly. The guidelines set out the basic parameters that every water system should strive to achieve in order to provide the cleanest, safest and most reliable drinking water possible.
The Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality deal with microbiological, chemical and radiological contaminants. They also address concerns with physical and aesthetic characteristics of water, such as taste and odour. (Health Canada)
Guidelines for Effluent Quality and Wastewater Treatment at Federal Establishments, April 1976: The purpose of these guidelines is to indicate the degree of treatment and effluent quality that will be applicable to all wastewater discharged from existing and proposed Federal installations. Use of these guidelines is intended to promote a consistent wastewater approach towards the cleanup and prevention of water pollution and ensure that the best practicable control technologies used. (Government of Canada)
Highlift Pumping: Refers to pumps installed that provide treated water into the water distribution system at pressure; either directly or via water tower.
Hydrant Flushing (see line flushing and swabbing)
Influent: Water, wastewater, or other liquid flowing into a reservoir, basin or treatment plant. (Gowen)
Lagoon: A shallow pond where sunlight, bacterial action, and oxygen work to purify wastewater. Lagoons are typically used for the storage of wastewaters, sludges, liquid wastes, or spent nuclear fuel. (Edwards Aquifier)
Lagoon, aerated: See Aeration
Lagoon, facultative: See Facultative Lagoon.
L/c/d: Measurement of daily water usage as Litres per capita, per day.
Level of Service Standards (INAC): The Level of Service Standards (LOSS), determined on a national basis, are the levels of service that the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND) is prepared to financially support to assist First Nations in providing community services comparable to the levels of service that would generally be available in non-native communities of similar size and circumstances.
The Level of Service Standards provide a description of criteria which will be used to establish the level of funding for safe, cost-effective, domestic water supply and wastewater disposal systems for on-reserve housing units and administrative, operative, institutional and recreational buildings. (INAC "Water and Sewage Systems")
Lift Station (also Pumping Station): A point in the sewer system where the wastewater needs to be pumped (lifted) to a higher elevation so that gravity can be used to bring the wastewater to the treatment plant. (Hailey City Hall Public Works)
Line flushing and swabbing (also referred to as watermain swabbing and flushing): Watermain swabbing entails inserting a soft material shaped like a bullet into the watermain through a fire hydrant. The diameter is slightly larger than the watermain and the bullet (swab) is pushed along the watermain by water pressure. As it passes through the watermain, the swab executes a scouring action on the sediment inside the watermain.
During watermain flushing, high velocity water flowing from hydrants is used to remove loose sediment from watermains. (City of Guelph)
L/p/d: Measurement of daily water usage as Litres per person, per day.
MAC (Maximum acceptable concentration): In the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality (GCDWQ), Maximum Acceptable Concentrations (MACs) have been established for certain physical, chemical, radiological and microbiological parameters or substances that are known or suspected to cause adverse effects on health. For some parameters, Interim Maximum Acceptable Concentrations (IMACs) are also recommended in the guidelines.
Drinking water that continually has a substance at a greater concentration than the specified MACs will contribute significantly to consumer exposure to the substance and may, in some instances, produce harmful health effects. However, the short-term presence of substances above the MAC levels does not necessarily mean the water constitutes a risk to health. (INAC, National Assessment Summary Report)
Maintenance Management Plan (MMP): Maintenance management plans apply to both water and wastewater systems. They are intended to improve the effectiveness of maintenance activities and are focused on planning, scheduling, and documenting preventative maintenance activities and on documenting unscheduled maintenance.
Manganese: Manganese is a mineral that naturally occurs in rocks and soil and is a normal constituent of the human diet. In some places, it exists in well water as a naturally occurring groundwater mineral, but may also be present due to underground pollution sources. Manganese may become noticeable in tap water at concentrations greater than 0.05 milligrams per liter (mg/L) of water by imparting a colour, odour, or taste to the water. However, health effects from manganese are not a concern until concentrations are approximately 10 times higher. (Conneticut Dept. of Health)
Mechanical Plant/ Mechanical Treatment: Refers to any type of wastewater treatment plant including treatments systems consisting of rotating biological contactors (RBC), sequencing batch reactors (SBR), extended aeration (EA), etc. It does not include natural forms of wastewater treatment like lagoons or septic systems.
Metals Scan (Full): A full metal scan refers to what laboratories call Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) analysis for the evaluation of trace metals in water samples. This test covers a complete scan of over 20 trace metals in a single analysis.
Municipal Type Agreement (MTA): The situation where First Nations are supplied with treated water from or send their wastewater to a nearby municipality, as outlined in a formal agreement between the two parties. The term is also used in this report to describe a system where the First Nation is supplied with treated water or wastewater treatment services by another First Nation or other independent body such as a corporate entity such as a Casino etc.
Multi-Barrier Approach: Approach used to ensure that drinking water is safe. In the past, the term ‘multi-barrier' referred only to the barriers involved in the actual treatment of raw water to provide quality drinking water. This approach has now been expanded to include a number of key elements that are an integral part of a drinking water program to ensure delivery of safe, secure supplies of drinking water. Barriers may be physical (eg: filter) or administrative (eg: planning) in nature. (Alberta Environment, Glossary & Alberta's Drinking Water Program)
None: Indicates that the treatment and/or distribution/collection system has not been classified.
O & M: Operation and Maintenance.
Operational Plan (OP): An Operational Plan is the primary instrument for communicating the Community's quality management system (QMS) from the public works departments (water and wastewater) to Chief and Council, and from Council to INAC, Health Canada and the community members.
Phosphorus: A non-metallic element of the nitrogen family that occurs widely especially as phosphates (Merriam-Webster). Phosphorus occurs naturally in rocks, soil, animal waste, plant material, and even the atmosphere. In addition to these natural sources, phosphorus comes from human activities such as agriculture, discharge of industrial and municipal waste, and surface water runoff from residential and urban areas. Nutrients held in soil can be dissolved in water and carried off by leaching, tile drainage or surface runoff.
Phosphorus does not pose a direct threat to human health; it is an essential component of all cells and is present in bones and teeth. It does, however, pose an indirect threat to both aesthetics and to human health by affecting source waters used for drinking and recreation. For example, excessive nutrients can promote the growth of algal blooms, which can contribute to a wide range of water quality problems by affecting the potability, taste, odour, and colour of the water. (Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment)
Piped Distribution System: A water distribution system which relies on pipes to convey water through pumping or elevated storage to the end user. Different from trucked distribution in that a trucked distribution system delivers water to end users in batch quantities to individual holding tanks (cisterns).
Potable water: Potable water is water that is destined for human consumption. For the purposes of the Protocol for Centralised Drinking Water Systems in First Nations Communities, water destined for human consumption is water that is consumed directly as drinking water, water that is used in cooking, water that is used to wash food, and water that is used for bathing infants (individuals under 1 year in age). (INAC, Protocol for Centralised Drinking Water Systems in First Nations Communities)
PPU: People per unit. Measurement to describe housing density.
Primary Operator: The main operator of a water or wastewater system. The primary operator must be certified to the level of the treatment and distribution/collection system.
Primary Wastewater Treatment: Removal of particulate materials from domestic wastewater, usually done by allowing the solid materials to settle as a result of gravity. Typically, the first major stage of treatment encountered by domestic wastewater as it enters a treatment facility. Primary treatment plants generally remove 25 to 35 percent of the Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) and 45 to 65 percent of the total suspended matter. Also, any process used for the decomposition, stabilization, or disposal of sludges produced by settling. (North American Lake Management Society; cited in Alberta Environment Glossary)
Protocol for Safe Drinking Water in First Nations Communities: Standards for design, construction, operation, maintenance, and monitoring of drinking water systems and is intended for use by First Nations staff responsible for water systems. It is also intended for use by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) staff, Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) for INAC staff, and all others involved in providing advice or assistance to First Nations in the design, construction, operation, maintenance, and monitoring of their drinking water systems in their communities, in accordance with established federal or provincial standards, whichever are the most stringent.
Any water system that produces drinking water destined for human consumption, that is funded in whole or in part by INAC, and that serves five or more households or a public facility, must comply with the requirements of this protocol. (INAC Protocol)
Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC): A quality management system that focuses on fulfilling quality requirements and providing confidence that quality requirements will be fulfilled.
Reporting Risk: The Reporting risk level is the risk inherent with the operational method of recording data and providing the required reports. This would include both manual and automatic methods of record keeping. The reporting risk ranking is based on the adequacy of the operational records and the number of reports submitted during the year compared to the total number of records and reports required according to the appropriate legislation, standards, and operation procedures of the system in question.
Reservoir: A man-made lake that collects and stores water for future use. During periods of low river flow, reservoirs can release additional flow if water is available. (Government of Alberta, Water for Life, cited in Alberta Glossary)
Reservoir Cleaning: This involves the pump-down, clean-out, removal of settled material, disinfection and refill of a water storage reservoir. This activity requires confined space entry equipment and training.
Retrofit: 1. To furnish with new or modified parts or equipment not available or considered necessary at the time of manufacture; 2. To install (new or modified parts or equipment) in something previously manufactured or constructed; 3. To adapt to a new purpose or need: modify. (Merriam-Webster)
Rotating Biological Contactor (RBC): A technology used to treat wastewater classified as mechanical treatment.
Risk (Management Risk Level/Management Risk Score): Risk is defined in INAC's Management Risk Level Evaluation Guidelines for Water and Wastewater Systems in First Nations Communities (Revised 2010). These guidelines follow the Multi-Barrier Approach for water management. This approach, developed by the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Drinking Water and the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) Water Quality Task Group, is intended to prevent the presence of water-borne contaminants in drinking water by ensuring effective safeguards are in place at each stage of a drinking water system.
Following that approach, INAC assesses five main components of a system to determine an overall system management risk score:
- Source Water (drinking water systems) or Effluent Receiver (wastewater systems)
- System Design
- Operation and Maintenance
- Records and Reporting
- Operator Training and Experience
Each of these components is assigned a risk score, which are then weighed to determine the overall management risk score of a system. The resulting score will then result in the management of the system as being classified as either high risk, medium risk, or low risk.
-High Risk: Major deficiencies in most of the components. Should a problem arise, the system and management as a whole is unlikely to be able to compensate, thus there is a high probability that any problem could result in unsafe water. Issues should be addressed as soon as possible.
-Medium Risk: Minor deficiencies in several components, or major deficiencies in one or two components. Should a problem arise, the system and management can probably compensate for the problem, but the noted deficiencies makes this uncertain, thus there is a medium probability that any problem could result in unsafe water. Issues need to be addressed.
-Low Risk: Minor or no deficiencies with the system or management. Should a problem occur, it is likely that the system and management as a whole will be able to compensate and continue to provide safe water while the issue is being resolved.
It is important to distinguish between INAC's system management risk level and drinking water quality. The actual quality of the water produced by a system is but one part of determining the overall system management risk level.
Unsafe drinking water is noted through the implementation of Drinking Water Advisories (DWA), not by the management risk level of the system. DWA come in multiple forms, the most common being the boil water advisory.
A system with a high-risk ranking under INAC's management evaluation is, because of its multiple deficiencies, likely to be unable to cope with problems that may occur in the system that result in a DWA. This means that DWA are likely to occur more frequently and to have a longer-term duration on a high-risk system. On the other hand, while problems can and do occur in low-risk systems, because of better overall risk management, these systems are more likely to address the problem in the short term, resulting in the rapid removal of problems and DWA.
This means that a high-risk drinking system can still produce perfectly safe and potable water. Deficiencies should be addressed as quickly as possible, however, before any issues arise with the water quality. (INAC, Management Risk Level Evaluation Guidelines)
SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system: Refers to a control and/or computer system that can monitor, record and control infrastructure, or facility-based processes.
Screened reservoir vents: Reservoir vents should be screened to allow air movement and to prevent vermin from entering.
Seasonal discharge: Discharge of wastewater at times of maximum or substantial stream flow. This may vary from location to location.
Secondary containment for treatment chemicals: Secondary containment is required for the storage of all regulated hazardous materials. Secondary containment must be constructed using materials capable of containing a spill or leak for at least as long as the period between monitoring inspections. A means of providing overfill protection for any primary container may be required. This may be an overfill prevention device and/or an attention getting high level alarm. Materials that in combination may cause a fire or explosion, the production of a flammable, toxic, poisonous gas, or the deterioration of a primary or secondary container will be separated in both the primary and secondary treatment containment so as to avoid intermixing.
Secondary Treatment: involving the biological process of reducing suspended, colloidal, and dissolved organic/inorganic matter in effluent from primary treatment systems and which generally removes 80 to 95 percent of the Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) and suspended matter. Secondary wastewater treatment may be accomplished by biological or chemical-physical methods. Activated sludge and trickling filters are two of the most common means of secondary treatment. (North American Lake Management Society, cited in Alberta Glossary)
Septic tank: A tank used to detain domestic wastes to allow the settling of solids prior to distribution to a leach field for soil absorption. Septic tanks are used when a piped wastewater collection system is not available to carry them to a treatment plant. A settling tank in which settled sludge is in immediate contact with sewage flowing through the tank, and wherein solids are decomposed by anaerobic bacterial action. (INAC Protocol for Centralised Wastewater)
Septic system: A combination of underground pipe(s) and holding tank(s) which are used to hold, decompose, and clean wastewater for subsurface disposal. (Bow River, cited in Alberta Glossary)
Sequencing Batch Reactor (SBR): A treatment technology used to treat wastewater classified as mechanical treatment.
Sewage treatment plant (STP) (also known as Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) or Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP)): Facility designed to treat wastewater (sewage) by removing materials that may damage water quality and threaten public health. (Ontario Ministry of Environment)
Sewage treatment systems: Facility or system designed to treat wastewater (sewage) by removing materials that may damage water quality and threaten public health. (Ontario Ministry of Environment)
Shoot-out: A septic system consisting of a septic tank with untreated wastewater effluent being discharged to the surface; this poses a health risk.
Sludge: The accumulated wet or dry solids that are separated from wastewater during treatment. This includes precipitates resulting from the chemical or biological treatment of wastewater. (Government of Alberta, Activities, cited in Alberta Glossary)
Source Classification: The determination of the water source classification in this assessment includes the options of: surface water, groundwater, GUDI or MTA. Surface water includes water from lakes or rivers; groundwater includes any well water that is not influenced by surface water infiltration; GUDI is any groundwater source under the direct influence of surface water; MTA as a source refers to the community acquiring the treated water from a municipality.
Source risk: The risk inherent in the quality and quantity of the raw source water prior to treatment.
Source Water Protection: 1. The prevention of pollution of the lakes, reservoirs, rivers, streams, and groundwater that serve as sources of drinking water. Wellhead protection would be an example of a source water protection approach that protects groundwater sources, whereas management of land around a lake or reservoir used for drinking water would be an example for surface water supplies. Source water protection programs typically include: delineating source water protection areas; identifying sources of contamination; implementing measures to manage these changes; and planning for the future. (North American Lake Management Society, cited in Alberta Glossary)
2. Action taken to control or minimize the potential for introduction of chemicals or contaminants in source waters, including water used as a source of drinking water (Alberta Environment, Standards and Guidelines, cited in Alberta Glossary).
SPS: An abbreviation of the term sewage pumping station.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs): An SOP is a written document or instruction detailing all steps and activities of a process or procedure. This would include all procedures used in water/wastewater treatment processes that could affect the quality.
Standpipe Storage: An above-grade storage facility where the storage volume is contained within the entirety of the structure. This type of storage is most feasible for use where there is sufficient change in the topography to allow for maximum usable volume in the standpipe.
Storage Type: Refers to whether the community water storage is via grade-level, below-grade or elevated storage (including standpipes and towers). In some cases there is no storage thus the storage type would be considered "direct pump."
Surface water: Surface water is any water that is obtained from sources, such as lakes, rivers, and reservoirs that are open to the atmosphere. (INAC, Protocol for Centralised Drinking Water)
System Designer: A system designer is a person, such as a professional engineer, who is qualified to design a water or wastewater systems. (INAC, Protocol for Centralised Drinking Water)
System Operator: A system operator is a First Nation employee or third party under contract to a First Nation who is tasked with managing a water or wastewater system. (INAC, Protocol for Centralised Drinking Water)
System Manager: A system manager is a First Nation employee or third party under contract to a First Nation who is tasked with managing a water or wastewater system. (INAC, Protocol for Centralised Drinking Water)
Tertiary Treatment: Selected biological, physical, and chemical separation processes to remove organic and inorganic substances that resist conventional treatment practices. Tertiary Treatment processes may consist of flocculation basins, clarifiers, filters, and chlorine basins or ozone or ultraviolet radiation processes. Tertiary techniques may also involve the application of wastewater to land to allow the growth of plants to remove plant nutrients. Can include advanced nutrient removal processes. (North American Lake Management Society, cited in Alberta Glossary)
Trihalomethanes (THMs): Chemical compounds that can be formed when water is disinfected using chlorine or bromine as the chemical disinfection agent. These chemical compounds are formed when organic material present in the raw source water reacts with chlorine or bromine. Therefore, THMs are classified as disinfection by-products (DBPs). The primary source of organic material comes from decaying vegetation found in lakes, rivers and streams and for this reason, THMs are more commonly observed in water systems that use a surface water source. The four chemical compounds that are measured and used to calculate total THMs are: chloroform, bromoform, bromodichloromethane (BDCM) and chlorodibromomethane (CDBM). THMs are a concern in potable water because there is scientific evidence that they may pose a risk in the development of cancer.
Treatment Certification: The treatment level to which an operator is certified for water treatment and distribution and wastewater treatment and collection systems (see Treatment Classification).
Treatment Classification: The size (flow) and complexity of a water or wastewater system is used to determine the Class of a system using a point template. The knowledge and experience it takes to operate a system is closely related to its classification and is reflected in the level of certification of the operator. Systems that are small and relatively simple, are classified as Small Water or Wastewater Systems. Larger or more complex systems are ranked as Class I, II, III, and IV with the highest being Class IV. Systems should be operated under the supervision of an operator certified to at least the same level of the facility.
TSS (Total Suspended Solids): Measure of the amount of non-dissolved solid material present in water or wastewater. Total suspended solids (TSS) can cause: a) interference with light penetration (in UV applications), b) build-up of sediment and c) can carry nutrients and other toxic pollutants that cause algal blooms and potential reduction in aquatic habitat (wastewater).
Underground Storage: A water storage facility (reservoir/clearwell) which is located 100% below-grade. Often located below the water treatment plant.
Waste: Any solid or liquid material, product, or combination of them that is intended to be treated or disposed of or that is intended to be stored and then treated or disposed. This does not include recyclables. (Government of Alberta, Activities Designation Regulation, cited in Alberta Glossary)
Waste management plan: A Waste Management Plan identifies and describes types of waste generated during operations and how they are managed and disposed of.
Wastewater (Industrial Wastewater, Domestic Wastewater): A combination of liquid and water-carried pollutants from homes, businesses, industries, or farms; a mixture of water and dissolved or suspended solids. (North American Lake Management Society, cited in Alberta Glossary)
Wastewater System: an organized process and associated structures for collecting, treating, and disposing of wastewater. For the purposes of this report, it is a system serving five or more houses. It includes any or all of the following:
- Sewers and pumping stations that make up a wastewater collection system.
- Sewers and pumping stations that transport untreated wastewater from a wastewater collection system to a wastewater treatment plant.
- Wastewater treatment plants.
- Facilities that provide storage for treated wastewater.
- Wastewater sludge treatment and disposal facilities.
- Sewers that transport treated wastewater from a wastewater treatment plant to the place where it is disposed of.
- Treated wastewater outfall facilities, including the outfall structures to a watercourse or any structures for disposal of treated wastewater to land or to wetlands. (Government of Alberta, Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, cited in Alberta Glossary)
Wastewater Treatment: Any of the mechanical, chemical or biological processes used to modify the quality of wastewater (sewage) in order to make it more compatible or acceptable to man and his/her environment. (North American Lake Management System, cited in Alberta Glossary)
Wastewater Treatment Plant: Any structure, thing, or process used for the physical, chemical, biological, or radiological treatment of wastewater before it is returned to the environment. The term also includes any structure, thing, or process used for wastewater storage or disposal, or sludge treatment, storage, or disposal. (Government of Alberta, Activities, cited in Alberta Glossary)
Watermain: A principal pipe in a system of pipes for conveying water, especially one installed underground. (American Heritage Dictionary)
Water quality: The term used to describe the chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of water, usually with respect to its suitability for a particular purpose. (INAC, Protocol for Centralised Drinking Water)
Water use: The term water use refers to water that is used for a specific purpose, such as for domestic use, irrigation, or industrial processing. Water use pertains to human interaction with and influence on the hydrolic cycle, and includes elements, such as water withdrawal from surface- and ground-water sources, water delivery to homes and businesses, consumptive use of water, water released from wastewater-treatment plans, water returned to the environment, and in-stream uses, such as using water to produce hydroelectric power. (INAC, Protocol for Centralised Drinking Water)
Water Well: An opening in the ground, whether drilled or altered from its natural state, that is used for the production of groundwater, obtaining data on groundwater, or recharging an underground formation from which groundwater can be recovered. By definition in the provincial Water Act, a water well also includes any related equipment, buildings, and structures. (Government of Alberta, Water for Life, cited in Alberta, Glossary)
Wellhead Protection Area: A protected surface and subsurface zone surrounding a well or well field supplying a public water system to keep contaminants from reaching the well water. (Edwards Aquifier)
Wellhead Protection Plan: A wellhead protection plan defines the wellhead protection area, identifies potential sources of contamination, manages the potential contaminant sources including properly decommissioning abandoned wells, identifies emergency and contingency plans (i.e. what to do if the well becomes contaminated or requires additional capacity) and provides overall public awareness.
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