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Useful Commercial & Industrial Terms


Alternate Terms

Definition and/or Use

Hardness Hard Water A common quality of water which contains dissolved compounds of calcium and magnesium and, sometimes, other divalent and trivalent metallic elements. The term hardness was originally applied to waters that were hard to wash in, referring to the soap wasting properties of hard water. Hardness prevents soap from lathering by causing the development of an insoluble curdy precipitate in the water; hardness typically causes the buildup of hardness scale (such as seen in cooking pans and in boilers). Dissolved calcium and mangesium salts are primarily responsible for most scaling. Hardness is usually expressed in grains per gallon (or ppm) as calcium carbonate equivalent.
Hydrogen Sulfide Sulfur, Rotten Egg Smell, Sulphur A corrosive and flammable gas often found dissolved in well water and often accompanied by iron and low pH values. The odor of water with as little as 0.5 milligrams per liter (mg/L) of hydrogen sulfide concentration is detectable by most people. Concentrations less than one mg/L gives the water a "musty" or "swampy" odor. Over one mg/L hydrogen sulfide concentration gives the water a "rotten egg" odor and makes the water corrosive to plumbing
Makeup Water Boiler Makeup Water Treated water added to the water loop of a boiler circuit or cooling tower to make up for the water lost by steam leaks or evaporation.
Mixed Bed Mixed Bed Resin, Mix Bed The intermix of two or more filter or ion exchange products in the same vessel during a service run.
Re-bed   Complete removal and replacement of the media or resin from a tank is considered a re-bed. Adding to a resin bed that may have lost resin is considered "topping off"
Regeneration   The use of a chemical solution (regenerant) to displace the contaminant ions deposited on the ion exchange resin during the service runs and replace them with the kind of ions neccessary to restore the capacity of the exchange medium for reuse.
Resin   As used in the water processing industry, this term refers to ion exchange resin products which are usually specifically-manufactured organic polymer beads used in softening and other ion exchange processes to remove dissolved salts from water.
Tank   That part of a water treatment system that contains the filter medium or ion exchange resin.
Tannin   Any group of water soluble, natural organic phenolic compounds that are produced by metabolism in trees and plants, and are part of the degradation-resistant fulvic acid materials formed during the decomposition of vegetation. Tannins occur in water in almost any location where large quantities of vegetation have decayed. Tannins can impart a faintly yellowish to brown color to water. Tannin molecules tend to form anions in water above pH 6 and can then be treated with anion exchange resins. Below pH 5, tannins are bettr treated with activated carbon.
UV Light   Radiation (light) having a wavelength shorter than 3900 angstroms, the wavelengths of visible light, and longer than 100 angstroms, the wavelenths of x-rays. This wavelength puts ultraviolet light at the invisible violet end of the light spectrum. Ultraviolet light is used as a disinfectant.
Water Softener   The reduction/removal of calcium and magnesium ions, which are the principal cause of hardness in water. The cation exchange resin method is most commonly water treatment. In municipal and industrial water treatment, the process can be lime softening or lime-soda softening.
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