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Glossary of Water Terms (G-I)

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gpg – Abbreviation for “grain per gallon”.

grain – (gr.) A unit of weight equal to 1/7000th of a pound, or 0.0648 gram.

grain per gallon – (gpg) A common basis for reporting water analyses in the United States and Canada; one grain per U.S. gallon equals 17.12 milligrams per liter (mg/L) or parts per million (ppm).

gram – (g) The basic unit of weight (mass) of the metric system, originally intended to be the weight of 1 cubic centimeter of water at 4°C.

greensand – A natural mineral, primarily composed of complex silicates, which possess ion exchange properties.

hardness – A characteristic of natural water due to the presence of dissolved calcium and magnesium; water hardness is responsible for most scale formation in pipes and water heaters, and forms insoluble “curd” when it reacts with soaps. Hardness is usually expressed in grains per gallon, parts per million, or milligrams per liter, all as calcium carbonate equivalent.

hard water – Water with a total hardness of one grain per gallon or more, as calcium carbonate equivalent.

hydraulic – Referring to water or other fluids in motion.

hydraulic classification – A process in which particles of the same specific gravity may be graded according to size by backwashing or other relative upward flow of water, with the smallest particles tending to rise to the top, because of variations in weight to surface area ratios.

hydrologic cycle – The water cycle, including precipitation of water from the atmosphere as rain or snow, flow of water over or through the earth, and evaporation or transpiration to water vapor in the atmosphere.

ion exchange – A reversible process in which ions are released from an insoluble permanent material in exchange for other ions in a surrounding solution; the direction of the exchange depends upon the affinities of the ion exchanger for the ions present, and the concentrations of the ions in the solution.

ion exchanger – A permanent, insoluble material which contains ions that will exchange reversibly with other ions in a surrounding solution. Both cation and anion exchangers are used in water conditioning.

ionization – The process in which atoms gain or lose electrons and thus become ions with positive or negative charges; sometimes used as synonymous with dissociation, the separation of molecules into charged ions in solution.

iron – An element often found dissolved in ground water (in the form of ferrous iron) in concentrations usually ranging from zero to 10 ppm (mg/L). It is objectionable in water supplies because of the staining caused after oxidation and precipitation (as ferric hydroxide), because of tastes, and because of unsightly colors produced when iron reacts with tannins in beverages such as coffee and tea.

iron bacteria – Organisms which are capable of utilizing ferrous iron, either from the water or from steel pipe, in their metabolism, and precipitating ferric hydroxide in their sheaths and gelatinous deposits. These organisms tend to collect in pipe lines and tanks during periods of low flow, and to break loose in slugs of turbid water to create staining, taste and odor problems.

ABC | DEF | GHI | JKLM | NOP | QRS | TU |V | W | XYZ

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