Glossary

Modules 1 & 2

Baseflow is that part of the stream discharge that is not attributable to direct runoff from precipitation or melting snow; it is usually sustained by groundwater.

Build-out Analysis is a land use analysis used to determine the total number of existing and developable units, based on current zoning and other land use regulations.

Cone of Depression is created when created when groundwater is pumped from a well and the groundwater in turn flows toward the well from every direction. The pumping well creates an artificial discharge area by drawing down (lowering) the water table around the well, called the cone of depression.

Delineation is the determination of the extent, orientation and boundaries of a wellhead protection area using factors such as geology, aquifer characteristics, well pumping rates and time of travel.

Hydrogeologic unit means any soil or rock unit or zone which by virtue of its porosity or permeability, or lack thereof, has a distinct influence on the storage or movement of groundwater.

Impervious Surface is any surface through which rainfall cannot pass or be effectively absorbed. (Roads, buildings, paved parking lots, sidewalks etc.)

Induced Infiltration is the movement of groundwater from the surface into the soil, or from the water table to a lower level, either naturally or human-induced.

Permeable (or Pervious) is the ability of a substance to allow fluids or gases to pass or diffuse through it.

Piezometric Surface is the imaginary surface that everywhere coincides with the piezometric head of the water in the aquifer. In areas of artesian ground water, it is above the land surface.

Potentiometric Surface represents the level to which water will rise in a tightly cased (sealed) well as a result of groundwater pressure.

Water Table is the upper level of an underground surface in which the soil or rocks are permanently saturated with water. The water table separates the groundwater zone that lies below it from zone of aeration that lies above it.

Wellhead Protection Area (WHPA) is the surface and subsurface area surrounding a spring, well or wellfield, supplying a public water system through which contaminants are reasonably likely to move toward and reach that spring, well or wellfield.

Module 3

Group A systems are generally community water systems with 15 or more connections.

Methemoglobinemia (Blue Baby Syndrome) is a condition that reduces the ability of the blood to transport oxygen throughout the body for essential metabolism due to the replacement of hemoglobin with methemoglobin in the blood.

Non-Point Source Pollution (NPS) is pollution that cannot be identified as coming from a specific source and thus cannot be controlled through the issuing of permits. Storm water runoff and some deposits from the air fall into this category.

Point Source Pollution is pollution that originates from a single point such as pipes, ditches, wells, vessels, and containers.

Surficial Geology is geology relating to surface layers, such as soil, exposed bedrock, or glacial deposits.

Vulnerability refers to the susceptibility of a water supply to contamination from land use activities.

Module 4

Attenuation is the reduction in level of a quantity, such as the intensity of a wave, over an interval of a variable, such as the distance from a source.

Best Management Practices (BMPs) are policies, practices, procedures, or structures implemented to mitigate the adverse environmental effects on surface water quality resulting from development. BMPs are categorized as structural or non-structural. A BMP policy may affect the limits on a development.

Capital Gains is the profit resulting from the sale or exchange of a capital asset over its purchase price. Capital gains occur in both real assets, such as property, as well as financial assets, such as stocks or bonds.

Carrying Capacity is the maximum number of individuals of a given species that a site can support during the most unfavorable time of year, without causing deterioration of the site.

Community Vision Statement is a community consensus on its future goals and priorities.

Conservation Easement is a restriction placed on a piece of property to protect its associated resources. The easement is either voluntarily donated or sold by the landowner and constitutes a legally binding agreement that limits certain types of uses or prevents development from taking place on the land in perpetuity while the land remains in private hands.

Contingency Plan is a plan for responding to a system emergency. The plan includes performing backups, preparing critical facilities that can be used to facilitate continuity of operations in the event of an emergency, and recovering from a disaster.

Deed Restriction is a covenant contained in a deed imposing limits on the use or occupancy of the real estate or the type, size, purpose or location of improvements to be constructed on it.

Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) are assessments of the likely positive or negative influence a project may have on the environment to ensure that decision-makers consider environmental impacts before deciding whether to proceed with new projects.

Footprint (or Eco-footprint) is the estimated impact of a person, city or country, on local, regional and global ecosystems. It is a measure of direct and indirect consumption of resources and production of wastes.

Greenways are strips of natural areas that connect to other natural areas, intended for wildlife corridors and/or habitat, and recreation.

Land Trust is a nonprofit organization that, as all or part of its mission, actively works to conserve land, in the public interest, through land transactions - primarily the purchase or acceptance of donations of land or conservation easements. Most land trusts are private charitable corporations. Some land trusts are governmental or quasi-governmental agencies that operate with much of the flexibility and freedom of a private land trust.

Land Use Controls are methods of regulating the uses to which a given land area may be put, including such things as zoning, subdivision regulation, and floodplain regulation.

(Building) Moratorium is the suspension of new construction activity, usually enacted by municipalities, to slow development in a specified area.

Swales are open, vegetated drainage channel designed to detain, treat and/or infiltrate stormwater.

Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is the maximum allowed level of pollutant loading to a water body, that protects its uses and maintaining compliance with water quality standards, as defined in the Clean Water Act.

Xeriscaping is an environmentally friendly form of landscaping that uses a variety of indigenous and drought-tolerant plants, shrubs, and ground cover.

Zoning Ordinances are part of an adopted municipal code that establishes the type and amount of development that is permissible in specific zoning districts and which also establishes other development controls.

Module 5

Denitrification is the process of reducing nitrate and nitrite, highly oxidized forms of nitrogen, into gaseous nitrogen.

Drainfield is a porous soil area, through which septic tank leach lines run, emptying the treated waste. This is typically done by burying perforated pipes in trenches and allowing the liquid to leach out and the surrounding soil absorbs the unwanted waste.

Effluent is an outflow or discharge of liquid waste, as from a sewage system, factory, or nuclear plant.

Greywater is non-industrial wastewater generated from domestic processes such as washing dishes, laundry and bathing, comprising 50-80% of residential wastewater.

Humus is any organic matter that is broken down as far as it can in its environment. In agriculture, "humus" is sometimes also used to describe mature compost, or natural compost extracted from a forest or other spontaneous source for use to amend soil.

Pathogenic Bacteria are disease-causing bacteria.

Module 6

Aquifer Sensitive Area (ASA) is the area from which runoff directly recharges the aquifer, including the surface over the aquifer itself and the hillside areas immediately adjacent to the aquifer.

Base Yield Plan: The maximum number of lots achievable under conventional Zoning Codeprovisions and Subdivision Rules and Regulations. The contents of this plan are similar to those of a Preliminary Subdivision Plan.

Best Management Practices refers to the practice considered most effective to achieve a specific desired result for protection of water, air and land and to control the release of toxins.

Bioretention System: The bioretention system (also referred to as a "rain garden" or a "biofilter") is a stormwater management practice to manage and treat stormwater runoff using a conditioned planting soil bed and planting materials to filter runoff stored within a shallow depression. The method combines physical filtering and adsorption with bio-geochemical processes to remove pollutants. The system consists of an inflow component, a pretreatment element, an overflow structure, a shallow ponding area (less than 9" deep), a surface organic layer of mulch, a planting soil bed, plant materials, and an underdrain system to convey treated runoff to a downstream facility.

Brownfields are properties that are abandoned or underused because of environmental contamination, or perceived contamination from past industrial or commercial practices.

Comprehensive Plan: Regional, state, or local documents that describe community visions for future growth. Comprehensive plans describe general plans and policies for how communities will grow and the tools that are used to guide land use decisions, and give general, long-range recommendations for community growth. Typical elements include, land use, housing, transportation, environment, economic development, and community facilities.

Deed Restriction: A legally binding restriction on the use, activity, and/or limitation of property rights, recorded at the registry of deeds.

Site Plan Review A process where a government agency reviews the plans for a specific development. This often occurs to ensure that the plans conform to a community's municipal code and other governing land use regulations.

Smart Growth: Well-planned development that protects open space and farmland, revitalizes communities, keeps housing affordable and provides more transportation choices.