Basin – A segment or portion of a larger watershed area, based on the natural water drainage pattern.
Biosolids – The organic by-product of wastewater treatment (also called “sludge”). Biosolids contain essential plant nutrient and organic matter and are recycled as a fertilizer and soil amendment.
Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) – a survey method used to survey the sewer lines. This advanced technology involves a television camera that is mounted on a robotic device and connected by cable to a video monitor.
Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) – Designed discharge from a combined sewer system into a stream. Usually occurs during heavy rainfall.
Combined Sewer System – A one-pipe sewer system in which a single pipe collects both sewage and stormwater. In dry weather, all flow goes to a wastewater treatment plant. During wet weather, some flow may be diverted to CSO treatment facilities for storage and/or treatment. In heaviest rainfall, combined sewage flow may be discharged directly to streams
Consent Decree – A negotiated agreement by the City to implement a court-ordered directive to evaluate and implement short and long-term plans for eliminating water quality violations. The City is currently operating under two consent decrees which resulted from lawsuits against the City filed by the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and later joined by EPA and EPD. The CSO Consent Decree, signed in 1998 addresses combined sewer overflows and the First Amended (SSO) Consent Decree signed in 1999 addresses sanitary sewer overflows.
Consent Decree Remediation Deadlines – All construction associated with meeting the terms of the CSO Consent Decree and the First Amended Consent Decrees (FACD) must be completed by November 2007 and July 2014, respectively. Failure to meet these deadlines, and interim milestone deadlines in the FACD, will result in severe monetary penalties and a moratorium on development in the city.
Consent Order – The City is currently under a consent order to address problems related to its drinking water treatment and distribution system.
CSO (Combined Sewer Overflow) – Designed discharge from a combined sewer system into a stream. Usually occurs during heavy rainfall.
Cured-in place pipe lining (CIPP) – A sewer rehabilitation technique that involves the insertion of a pipe liner into the existing sewer pipe which is then cured to a hard finish.
EPA – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: the federal agency responsible for enforcing the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act and other federal environmental regulations.
EPD – Georgia Environmental Protection Division: the Georgia agency responsible for enforcing EPA regulations as well as state environmental standards.
First Amended Consent Decree – A second Consent Decree agreement, signed in 1999, that addresses Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSO’s) and operation of the City ’s wastewater treatment plants.
Impervious Surface – A surface that does not allow water or other liquids to pass through it (for example, pavement).
Jack and bore – the process of jacking a casing pipe through the earth while removing excavated soil from the casing by means of a rotating auger.
Microtunneling – a remote control powered machine construct small tunnels.
NPDES – National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System; pollution control permits are issued under this system.
NPU – Neighborhood Planning Unit; the Neighborhood Planning Unit System was established to provide an opportunity for citizens to participate actively in the Comprehensive Development Plan: the City’s vision for the next 5, 10, and 15 years. It is also used as a way for the citizens to receive information concerning all functions of City government. The system enables the citizens to express ideas and comment on City plans and proposals while assisting the City in developing plans which best meet the needs of different areas.
Pipe bursting – the insertion of a tool, which pulls a replacement pipe through the existing pipe, bursting the pipe as it is inserted.
Raw Water – Intake water prior to treatment or use for drinking water.
Reservoir – Any natural or artificial holding area used to store, regulate, or control water prior to distribution into homes and businesses.
Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) – the main federal law that ensures the quality of Americans’ drinking water. Under SDWA, EPA sets standards for drinking water quality and oversees the states, localities, and water suppliers who implement those standards.
Separated Sewer System – A two-pipe sewer system in which one pipe collects sewage and sends it to a wastewater treatment plant and the other pipe collects stormwater, which is typically discharged to a stream.
Smoke Testing – One of the most efficient and cost-effective methods of locating sources of inflow and infiltration problems with sewers.
SSES – Sewer System Evaluation Survey (also Sanitary Sewer Evaluation Survey): A process of inspecting the inside of sewer pipes, using techniques such as Closed Circuit Television (CCTV), smoke testing, dye testing, flow monitoring and inspections to detect potential problems in sewer systems. The City’s SSES program, which began in June 2002, addresses the entire system (2,200 miles) of pipe in the City.
SSO (Sanitary Sewer Overflow) – Sewage that flows out of a sanitary sewer pipe or overflow from a manhole onto the surface or into a stream. SSOs are a violation of the Clean Water Act.
Stormwater – Rainfall or other forms of precipitation. Stormwater runoff is the result of stormwater washing across impervious surfaces, carrying with it the pollutants found on streets, parking lots, rooftops, etc. These pollutants end up in streams and rivers. Stormwater runoff contributes from 60 to 80% of total water pollution.
Watershed – The area of land where water from rain or snow melt drains downhill into a body of water. Mountains act as a funnel to feed rivers and lakes.