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
The Australian Building Greenhouse Rating System.
A process whereby oxygen depleted air in a wastewater treatment process is replaced by oxygen rich air. Aeration is an important part of wastewater treatment as it promotes certain biological activity important in the breakdown of organic material.
Permeable layers of underground rock or sand that holds or passes groundwater below the water table. Bores can be drilled down into an aquifer to tap into the water source.
Unwanted reverse flow of water in the potable water system. Many systems that use recycled water will have to install ‘backflow prevention devices’.
Backwashing is the reversal of water flow back through a water filter media to remove entrapped solids. The water used for backwashing can be recovered, stored and treated for reuse for a variety of end-uses such as irrigation or toilet flushing.
Main function is to provide the correct voltage to start fluorescent and HID lamps (a higher voltage is required to start the lamp than to operate it), then to match the incoming voltage to the lamp voltage and to reduce the current being supplied to the lamp.
Leakage or out-of-hours water flow.
A sites historical water or energy use over a 12 month period of normal operating conditions.
BASIX is the Building Sustainability Index which is a regulatory tool applied to new houses, home renovations and multi-unit dwellings in NSW to ensure they use less potable water and emit fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
Biologically activated carbon
Activated carbon that supports microbial growth to aid in the degradation of organic materials that have been absorbed on its surface and in its pores.
Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD)
Rate at which organisms use oxygen in water and wastewater. This is a measure of water quality.
Biogas is a by-product of anaerobic digestion, which is a decomposition process by microorganisms. This gas by-product can be harvested to convert to energy.
Blackwater is wastewater from a toilet or bidet, generally discharged to the sewerage system or septic tank.
The water removed from a cooling tower to reduce the concentration of suspended and dissolved solids.
Water extracted from an aquifer.
Cistern displacement device
Reduces the flush volume of a toilet cistern and could be as simple as placing a brick or a plastic bottle filled with pebbles or sand in the cistern.
A large device, generally a conical tank, for separating sludge from clearer waste water.
Clean in Place (CIP)
Cleaning practice whereby equipment is not first disassembled and is usually done with a spray device.
Cogeneration is the simultaneous generation of electrical and thermal energy where both forms of energy are put to productive use. Cogeneration is typically possible when facilities that produce large amounts of waste heat (usually in the form of steam or hot water) is used efficiently for heating, industrial use, agriculture or conversion into electricity. Some cogeneration systems produce cold water, not hot water, and the cold is used to supplement or replace cooling systems in areas where cooling is desirable.
Refer to the ability of a light source to convey the true colours of people and objects. The colour rendition index is the scale used to indicate this effect for specific light sources. It is a 0-100 scale, where 100 is excellent (true) colour rendition and 0 is poor colour rendition.
A large tower used to transfer the heat in cooling water to the atmosphere either by direct evaporation or by convection and conduction.
Compresses air in a compressed air system to generate mechanical power. In air conditioners, heat pumps, and refrigerators a compressor forces a refrigerant gas to change into high pressure gas to complete the refrigeration cycle.
Condensate return system
A system that returns heated water that has been condensed back into the process to save water and energy.
Counter current rinsing
In counter current rinsing systems are common in industrial processes. Water circulates through a series of connected rinse tanks, flowing in the opposite direction of the workflow. Fresh waster enters the last rinse tank, overflows to the next rinse tank and continues until it exits via the first rinse tank. This saves the amount of fresh water needed for rinsing.
Cycles of concentration
The number of times water has been circulated within a cooling tower or other process and has effectively increased the concentration of suspended and dissolved solids in the cooling tower because of evaporation. Ten cycles of concentration means the concentration of solids has increased by ten.
Process of removing salt from seawater or brackish water, typically by reverse osmosis, to produce potable water.
Reduced light output from a lamp and reduces the power requirement of the lamp. Also, extends the life of a lamp.
Disinfection can be an important step to ensure water is safe to drink or reuse after recycling. Disinfection refers specifically to the destruction of microorganisms. Common forms of disinfection are by chlorination, ozone or ultraviolet light.
Water treatment method where water is boiled to steam and condensed in a separate reservoir, and contaminants with higher boiling points can be removed from the water.
Effluent (Primary, Secondary & Tertiary treatment)
This is typically the out-flow of water or wastewater from any water processing system of device.
Primary treatment: the first stage of treating sewage, usually the removal of large solids such as plastic and wood.
Secondary treatment: removal of organic matter from waste water using aerobic biological processes.
Tertiary treatment: processing of waste water which may involve further nutrient removal, filtration, constructed wetlands and higher levels of disinfection.
The permeable material that separates solids from liquids passing though it.
First flush device
A device that collects the first flow of water after rainfall. The water this device collects typically contains pollutants that have built up during the dry time before rain. These are important devices for rainwater tanks.
A mechanism that regulated the water level by sing a float to control the filling of the tank. A faulty or incorrectly adjusted float valve is a common cause of leaks in water storage tanks.
Device used to restrict the amount of water flow for a given use. For example, flow restrictors are often installed on taps to inhibit the amount of water people can use to wash their hands.
The main type of general office lamp. Baton shaped lamps.
A large tank that gravity feeds smaller tanks or cisterns. Flusherette tanks are typically found in tall office towers and used to fill toilet and urinal cisterns for flushing.
Heat (thermal) energy stored in rock below the Earth's surface is referred to as geothermal energy. Technologies such as heat exchangers and heat pumps can convert the heat from beneath the surface of the earth into usable energy. When this energy takes the form of hot water, steam or hot compressed air, it can be used to produce electricity in the exact same fashion as energy produced by steam turbines.
Can come from a variety of sources within households or businesses, and is typically sourced from baths, showers, laundries or basins. Greywater is not sourced from toilets or bidets.
Water that has been collected in an aquifer or the water table that is below ground level.
Literally, a device that pumps heat energy. Heat pumps are used in both heating and cooling systems. When used as heating units, heat pumps are able extract heat energy from even the coldest outdoor air to heat the inside of a structure. When used as cooling units, they can extract heat from indoor air even if the outdoor air is much hotter.
High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamp
The main alternative to high wattage incandescent lamps. They are generally used in outdoor or industrial applications e.g. high bay or floodlight lamps.
Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning.
Electrical energy generated by harnessing the power of moving - but not necessarily falling - water is referred to as hydroelectric power. Any steady current of water from a river or other waterway can be converted to electrical current.
The amount of light on a surface measured as lumens per square metre or lux.
The traditional type of artificial light source. They generate light by heating a substance, usually tungsten, to temperatures high enough to generate bright light.
Most commonly refers to thermal insulation used in buildings to prevent heat energy loss in cool climates or heat energy gain in climates or structures where air conditioning is commonly used.
Internal Rate of Return (IRR)
The measure of profitability of a project, The IRR technique assesses an investment against a required rate of return set by your company. For example, your company may have a requirement that all investments must have a 20% IRR and if you calculate that your investment has an IRR of 25%, then it can go ahead. The IRR is the discount rate when NPV = 0.
ISO 14001 Environmental Management System
The ISO 14000 series, developed by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) is a collection of voluntary standards to assist organisations achieve effective environmental management. ISO 14001 is the standard for Environmental Management Systems.
A volumetric measurement equivalent to one thousand litres, or one cubic metre.
Kilowatt hour (kWh)
A quantitative measure of electric current flow equivalent to one thousand watts being used continuously for a period on one hour; the unit most commonly used to measure electrical energy, as opposed to kilowatt, which is simply a measure of available power.
Key Performance Indicator (KPI)
A benchmark that has been determined so that success can be measured and quantified.
The period in which the lumen output remains above 75% of the initial value.
A complete lighting unit consisting of a lamp or lamps, lampholders, optical elements to distribute the light, and the means for connection to a power source.
A thin, semi-permeable barrier that allows some materials to pass through, and inhibits others.
Membrane Bioreactor (MBR)
An advanced wastewater treatment technology which combines filtration with biological treatment.
Microfiltration is a common treatment process to remove waste from contaminated water, such as greywater, wastewater and stormwater. It involves passing water through very fine hollow fibre membranes, particulate matter, protozoa and some viruses are removed. Microfiltration membranes have a pore size of 0.1 to 0.2 micrometres.
Used to measure the electrical conductivity of water. The more salts or minerals dissolved in the water, the higher the conductivity.
National Australian Built Environment Rating System
Net Present Value (NPV)
This is the value of an investment when all future net cash flows are discounted back (using the discount rate) to their present value (this counters the effect of inflation). It is used to determine whether an investment should go ahead. If the NPV is equal to or greater than 0, the investment could be accepted.
Ozone disinfects by oxidising or destroying the cell wall of microorganisms and is usually used after secondary treatment of wastewater. Ozone is fed into the wastewater stream as a gas and when it comes into contact with bacteria, it destroys the organism.
Passive building design
Building design that has low heating, cooling and lighting requirements by using natural light, ventilation and positioning.
Payback period (simple payback)
The time taken for the savings or profit of investment to pay for the initial capital expenditure. Payback period = Capital cost/Total annual savings. For example, a new lighting system costs $400 and the savings are $200 per year, the payback period is $400/$200 = 2 years.
Peak demand refers to the maximum power requirement of a system at a given time, or the amount of power required to supply customers at times when need is greatest. This may be at a particular time of the day or a specific hour of the day.
A form of solar energy that directly converts light into energy.
Power factor correction
The demand for electricity that your site places on the electricity network is measured in kVA (1000s of volt amps) and converted to a ‘power factor’. A power factor is a measure between 0 and 1, where 1 means that you are making the most effective use of your electricity. If your site is a large electricity user and you have a low power factor, you may benefit for having power factor correction equipment installed. Power factor correction units reduce your peak demand on the electricity supply network, and improving it can reduce your demand on the network and also save you money on your electricity bill.
Pressure reduction valve
A valve that can be installed on a pipe or system to reduce the net pressure of the system which can lead to water and energy savings.
A measure of a given material's ability to resist the absorption or conduction of heat energy. R-value is most commonly used to classify insulation. The higher a material's R-value, the better that material insulates against thermal energy losses. R-value is calculated based on the material's thermal resistance per inch of thickness.
Collection and storage of rainwater from rooves for reuse.
Water taken from a non-potable source and treated to a level suitable for its intended use.
Used to direct the light emitted by a lamp in the desired distribution pattern.
Retrofitting simply means adding a new technology or features to an older system. Amenities include most water using devices found in kitchens or toilets/bathrooms and include toilet cisterns, urinals, taps, showers etc. Retrofitting these devices can include a range of options that will depend on the need of your site. Options such as flow restrictors, solenoid valves, dual flush cisterns, waterless urinals, sensor timers, push-button taps, low-flow devices can be considered when undertaking a retrofit project.
Reverse osmosis (RO) uses a semi-permeable membrane to separate and remove dissolved solids, organics, viruses, bacteria and other materials from water. It is called RO as it requires pressure to force pure water across a membrane, leaving the impurities behind.
A scientifically-based process to assess the scale of a hazard if it occurs based on the following elements: hazard identification; hazard characterisation; exposure assessment; and risk characterisation.
Use of screens to remove coarse floating and suspended solids, typically from sewage.
Section 60 approval
Section 60 of the Local Government Act 1993 relates to approval for recycled water schemes where councils are the proponents and the approving authority is the NSW Office of Water.
Section 68 approval
Section 68 of the Local Government Act 1993 requires approval from the local counil for water supply, sewerage and stormwater drainage work as well as the installation and operation of a sewage management system, including private recycled water schemes that process greywater and blackwater.
Literally a pond where wastewater is held so substances that do not dissolve in water and are heavier than water can sink to the bottom allowing the cleaner water to be passed to the next treatment stage.
Sewage refers to wastewater that has been sources from greywater or blackwater sources and can contain a high level of organic and non-organic matter.
Sewer mining involves tapping directly into a sewer main either before or after a treatment plant and extracting the wastewater. The wastewater is treated and reused as recycled water.
To find out more about sewer mining and if it is suitable for your site contact your local sewerage treatment authority.
The system that moves sewage to treatment, storage and disposal facilities. It is a system of sewers and pumping stations, generally operated by local water authorities.
Biosolids separated from liquids during processing.
Solar power refers to the potential of the Sun to produce energy. Solar energy can be generated using a wide variety of methods ranging from simple water recirculating systems used to heat homes and commercial offices to sophisticated networks of solar cells that produce enough energy to supply small cities.
An electro-mechanical device that activates a valve.
Stormwater involves the collection and reuse of rainwater that would otherwise end up in the stormwater channels that lead to a river or the ocean. Harvesting stormwater generally involves two stages: storage and treatment. Stormwater usually comes in large volumes during a rainfall event, and as such, must be stored to allow for reuse. Also, stormwater is typically of low quality with a high level of pollutants it must be sufficiently treated. The most common reuse of stormwater is for irrigation.
Sewerage Usage Discharge Factor is a measure of the ratio of water going out of your site through the sewerage system compared to water coming in from the mains.
A device for measuring the space temperature.
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
The weight per unit volume of water of suspensed solids in a filter media after filtration or evaporation.
Trade waste is any liquid, and any substance contained in it, produced by an industrial or commercial activity at a business premises. Trade waste must be monitored and treated as it can sometimes contain high levels of contaminants that could be harmful to human health, the environment, damage the sewerage system, block pipes or cause corrosion.
In terms of recycling, trade waste can be a source for water to be recovered, treated and reused.
An electric device used to reduce the voltage in an electrical circuit.
A measure of non-transparency of water due to the presence of suspended matter.
Ultraviolet (UV) light disinfection
UV radiation can effectively destroy bacteria and viruses within a wastewater stream and can be used as an alternative to chlorination (which can use higher quantities of water). The UV is generated by specially designed UV lamps. There are limitations to UV disinfection in that it is unsuitable for water with high levels of suspended solids or high turbidity.
Variable speed drives
Variable speed drives are mechanisms that simply slow down a motor. They can be installed on fans, blowers and pumps to adjust to speed at which they are running. This means that the amount of energy being consumed can be adjusted so that they are not running at full capacity when not needed and not wasting energy.
Wastewater (& wastewater recycling)
Wastewater is water that has been contaminated by some activity, includes greywater and sewage. Wastewater can be collected from a variety of sources, stored and treated so that it can be used as an alternative to the potable supply.
The unit for measuring electrical power. The rate of energy consumption by an electrical device when it is in use is measured in watts.
Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme. As part of the Water Efficient Labelling and Standards program, WELS gives water consuming a star rating according to its efficiency.
Page last updated: 11 July 2011