water supply


Augmentation – 1) The process of adding reclaimed water to a groundwater or surface water body, such as an aquifer, lake or wetland with the primary goal of obtaining water supply credits for permitted withdrawals at another water supply location; 2) adding raw water or reclaimed water to a groundwater or surface water body for purposes of enhancing environmental conditions.

Disinfection – The process of destroying or inactivating potentially dangerous microbes by chemical or physical means. Chlorine, monochloramine, ozone and ultraviolet radiation are all disinfectants used in water treatment.

Aquifer recharge – The process where water moves downward from the surface to the aquifer; recharge is the primary method by which water enters the aquifer. Recharge can occur naturally as part of the hydrologic cycle or can be enhanced by using constructed facilities to add water into a groundwater aquifer.

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) – An internationally recognized science-based preventative control system designed to minimize risk and maximize quality. Originally designed by NASA and Pillsbury Company to prevent food-borne diseases, HACCP is now used across the world by food companies, pharmaceutical companies, the water industry and others to protect public health. The seven-step system focuses on monitoring and barriers of treatment, rather than end-of-pipe sampling and testing. This prevents problems and ensures quality. HACCP has been incorporated into FDA rules and endorsed by the National Academy of Sciences. For more information, go to

Irrigation – The application of water to land to assist in the production of crops or to maintain landscapes.

Multi-barrier process – Using more than one type of protection or treatment in a series to remove contaminants and provide overall reliability, redundancy and performance. For example, Tampa Bay Water’s Regional Surface Water Treatment Plant uses the following multi-barrier process:  fine grain sand and polymer, particle separation, ozone disinfection, biologically active filtration and secondary disinfection. Monitoring each step in a multi-barrier process ensures quality.

Potable Water – Safely drinkable.

Planned Potable Reuse – An intentional project to recycle reclaimed water for drinking water. The reclaimed water is cleaned to meet or surpass federal and state drinking water standards and is safe for use in either an indirect or direct potable reuse application.

  • Indirect Potable Reuse (IPR) – Reclaimed water is extensively treated, then discharged into an environmental buffer, such as groundwater, river or reservoir, to augment existing drinking water supplies. Recycled water blends with the source into which it was discharged. The source water is later withdrawn, treated to meet or surpass drinking water standards, and distributed.
  • Direct Potable Reuse (DPR) – Recycled water is purified through robust treatment to meet or surpass drinking water standards. Options for using the purified water include:  a) storing it in facility such as a reservoir or clearwell before blending it with other treated supplies prior to distribution;  b)  blending it at the intake of an existing water treatment facility where it will be treated again; c) blending it with other treated supplies within a treatment facility; or d) piping it directly into the potable distribution system.

Ozonation/ozone disinfection – The process of applying ozone (03) for the disinfection of water. Ozone is one of the most powerful disinfectants in water treatment today.

Purified Water – Water that has passed through proven treatment processes and has been verified through monitoring to be safe for augmenting drinking water supplies. The source water is often clean water from a wastewater treatment plant.

Purification processes can involve a multistage process such as microfiltration, reverse osmosis and advanced oxidation.  Any of these options are capable of producing water quality that has been verified through monitoring to be safe for augmenting drinking water supplies.

Rapid Infiltration Basins (RIBs) – Also known as Soil Aquifer Treatment; unlined, excavated basins into which stormwater or treated wastewater is pumped so that it can quickly percolate through the soil into the aquifer, and sometimes, into a nearby surface water body. Treatment occurs as the water moves through the soil.

Raw Water – Water from a supply source that has not been treated.

Reclaimed Water – Wastewater that has been treated and recovered for useful purposes.

Recycled Water – Treated wastewater that is used more than once before it re-enters the water cycle. The terms “reused” and “recycled” are often interchanged. Since Tampa Bay Water provides only drinking water, recycled water in this context refers to treated domestic wastewater that is used more than once.

Reverse Osmosis  – A method of removing ions, salts and other dissolved solids and organics from water. Pressure is used to force water through a semi-permeable membrane that allows water molecules to flow through but stops dissolved solids and other materials from passing through the membrane. This treatment method is used at the Tampa Bay Seawater Desalination Plant.

Soil Aquifer Treatment – Water, including recycled water, soaks into the ground and partially cleaned by the physical, chemical, and biological processes that naturally occur in soil.

Unplanned Potable Reuse – Using surface water as a source of drinking water that is subject to upstream discharges of wastewater treatment plants, water reclamation facilities or resource recovery facilities.

Wastewater – Used water from homes and businesses that flows to a wastewater treatment plant. Wastewater includes used water from washing dishes, clothes, food, bodies and water used for toilet flushing. Because a considerable amount of water is used to carry away only a small quantity of waste, domestic sewage is mostly water.

Water Cycle – The natural process of recycling water from the atmosphere down to, and through, the Earth and back to the atmosphere. Water evaporates from water bodies (such as oceans, lakes and rivers), transpires from plants, condenses and forms clouds, and returns to earth as precipitation (rain, snow or sleet).