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.
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.
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 (SSOs) 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,
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.
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.
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 (Separate/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.
Tunnelling – Use of an underground tunnel to convey wastewater, stormwater or combined flows to a treatment
facility. Atlanta is already served by two wastewater tunnels - Three Rivers
and Intrenchment Creek. A tunnel will be constructed in the Nancy Creek sewer
basin to convey sanitary sewer flows from DeKalb to the R.M. Clayton WRC, providing
relief from sewage overflows for northeast Atlanta residents. To address CSOs,
tunnels will be constructed on the west and east sides of Atlanta.