Social Media Icons DEQ Facebook DEQ Twitter DEQ Instagram DEQ LinkedIn


Glossary

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

- W -

Waste: 1. Unwanted materials left over from a manufacturing process. 2. Refuse from places of human or animal habitation.

Waste Characterization: Identification of chemical and microbiological constituents of a waste material.

Waste Exchange: Arrangement in which companies exchange their wastes for the benefit of both parties.

Waste Feed: The continuous or intermittent flow of wastes into an incinerator.

Waste Generation: The weight or volume of materials and products that enter the waste stream before recycling, composting, landfilling, or combustion takes place. Also can represent the amount of waste generated by a given source or category of sources.

Waste Load Allocation: 1. The maximum load of pollutants each discharger of waste is allowed to release into a particular waterway. Discharge limits are usually required for each specific water quality criterion being, or expected to be, violated. 2. The portion of a stream's total assimilative capacity assigned to an individual discharge.

Waste Minimization: Measures or techniques that reduce the amount of wastes generated during industrial production processes; term is also applied to recycling and other efforts to reduce the amount of waste going into the waste stream.

Waste Piles: Non-containerized, lined or unlined accumulations of solid, nonflowing waste.

Waste Reduction: Using source reduction, recycling, or composting to prevent or reduce waste generation.

Waste Stream: The total flow of solid waste from homes, businesses, institutions, and manufacturing plants that is recycled, burned, or disposed of in landfills, or segments thereof such as the "residential waste stream" or the "recyclable waste stream."

Waste Treatment Lagoon: Impoundment made by excavation or earth fill for biological treatment of wastewater.

Waste Treatment Plant: A facility containing a series of tanks, screens, filters and other processes by which pollutants are removed from water.

Waste Treatment Stream: The continuous movement of waste from generator to treater and disposer.

Waste-Heat Recovery: Recovering heat discharged as a byproduct of one process to provide heat needed by a second process.

Waste-to-Energy Facility/Municipal-Waste Combustor: Facility where recovered municipal solid waste is converted into a usable form of energy, usually via combustion.

Wastewater: The spent or used water from a home, community, farm, or industry that contains dissolved or suspended matter.

Wastewater Infrastructure: The plan or network for the collection, treatment, and disposal of sewage in a community. The level of treatment will depend on the size of the community, the type of discharge, and/or the designated use of the receiving water.

Wastewater Operations and Maintenance: Actions taken after construction to ensure that facilities constructed to treat wastewater will be operated, maintained, and managed to reach prescribed effluent levels in an optimum manner.

Water Purveyor: A public utility, mutual water company, county water district, or municipality that delivers drinking water to customers.

Water Quality Criteria: Levels of water quality expected to render a body of water suitable for its designated use. Criteria are based on specific levels of pollutants that would make the water harmful if used for drinking, swimming, farming, fish production, or industrial processes.

Water Quality Improvement Fund (WQIF): In 1997, the Virginia General Assembly passed the Water Quality Improvement Act which established the Water Quality Improvement Fund. The fund provides grants for the purpose of reducing the amount of nutrients entering the Chesapeake Bay. Both non-point sources such as agricultural operations and point source discharges such as wastewater treatment facilities are eligible for grants from the Water Quality Improvement Fund . The Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund programs are not part of the Water Quality Improvement Fund.

Water Quality Standards: State-adopted and EPA-approved ambient standards for water bodies. The standards prescribe the use of the water body and establish the water quality criteria that must be met to protect designated uses.

Water Quality-Based Limitations: Effluent limitations applied to dischargers when mere technology-based limitations would cause violations of water quality standards. Usually applied to discharges into small streams.

Water Solubility: The maximum possible concentration of a chemical compound dissolved in water. If a substance is water soluble it can very readily disperse through the environment.

Water Storage Pond: An impound for liquid wastes designed to accomplish some degree of biochemical treatment.

Water Supplier: One who owns or operates a public water system.

Water Supply System: The collection, treatment, storage, and distribution of potable water from source to consumer.

Water Table: The level of groundwater.

Water Treatment Lagoon: An impound for liquid wastes designed to accomplish some degree of biochemical treatment.

Water Well: An excavation where the intended use is for location, acquisition, development, or artificial recharge of ground water.

Water-Soluble Packaging: Packaging that dissolves in water; used to reduce exposure risks to pesticide mixers and loaders.

Water-Source Heat Pump: Heat pump that uses wells or heat exchangers to transfer heat from water to the inside of a building. Most such units use ground water. (See: groundsource heat pump; heat pump.)

Watershed: The land area that drains into a stream; the watershed for a major river may encompass a number of smaller watersheds that ultimately combine at a common point.

Watershed Approach: A coordinated framework for environmental management that focuses public and private efforts on the highest priority problems within hydrologically-defined geographic areas taking into consideration both ground and surface water flow.

Watershed Area: A topographic area within a line drawn connecting the highest points uphill of a drinking water intake into which overland flow drains.

Weir: 1. A wall or plate placed in an open channel to measure the flow of water. 2. A wall or obstruction used to control flow from settling tanks and clarifiers to ensure a uniform flow rate and avoid short-circuiting. (See: short-circuiting.)

Well: A bored, drilled, or driven shaft, or a dug hole whose depth is greater than the largest surface dimension and whose purpose is to reach underground water supplies or oil, or to store or bury fluids below ground.

Well Field: Area containing one or more wells that produce usable amounts of water or oil.

Well Injection: The subsurface emplacement of fluids into a well.

Well Monitoring: Measurement by on-site instruments or laboratory methods of well water quality.

Well Plug: A watertight, gastight seal installed in a bore hole or well to prevent movement of fluids.

Well Point: A hollow vertical tube, rod, or pipe terminating in a perforated pointed shoe and fitted with a fine-mesh screen.

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.

Wetlands: An area that is saturated by surface or ground water with vegetation adapted for life under those soil conditions, as swamps, bogs, fens, marshes, and estuaries.

Wettability: The relative degree to which a fluid will spread into or coat a solid surface in the presence of other immiscible fluids.

Wheeling: The transmission of electricity owned by one entity through the facilities owned by another (usually a utility).

Whole-Effluent-Toxicity Tests: Tests to determine the toxicity levels of the total effluent from a single source as opposed to a series of tests for individual contaminants.

Wildlife Refuge: An area designated for the protection of wild animals, within which hunting and fishing are either prohibited or strictly controlled.

Wire-to-Wire Efficiency: The efficiency of a pump and motor together.

Wood Packaging: Wood products such as pallets, crates, and barrels.

Wood Treatment Facility: An industrial facility that treats lumber and other wood products for outdoor use. The process employs chromated copper arsenate, which is regulated as a hazardous material.

Wood-Burning-Stove Pollution: Air pollution caused by emissions of particulate matter, carbon monoxide, total suspended particulates, and polycyclic organic matter from wood-burning stoves.

footer divider
footer divider
footer divider
Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


Some resources on this website require Adobe Reader and Flash Player, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or Excel. If you wish to receive this content in an accessible format pursuant to Section 508 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. ยง 794 (d)), please call 800-592-5482. In addition, this website includes hyperlinks to websites neither controlled nor sponsored by DEQ or the Commonwealth of Virginia. Links may open in a new window. If you wish to receive content from a website which is neither controlled nor sponsored by DEQ or the Commonwealth, please contact the host of that website directly.

Privacy Statement | Terms Of Use | WAI Compliance | Contact Us