Glossary of terms

The list below contains some of the technical terms and abbreviations which often appear in our range of reports.

Term Definition
AONB Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Asset A capital cost item
Audit A process whereby an aspect of operations is critically evaluated from legal and good practice standpoints
Benchmarking A process allowing comparison of one data set (e.g. company performance) to another (e.g. industry performance)
Biodiversity The variety of life forms around us. The term covers all lifeforms, from mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians to plants, fungi and micro-organisms including bacteria and viruses
Consent A permit defining levels of legally allowed operational performance
Controlled waters Watercourses under Environment Agency control
CO2 Carbon dioxide
CSO Combined sewer overflow
DEFRA Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Now holds responsibility for the guidelines for Conservation, Access and Recreation reporting
DETR Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, former department responsible for the guidelines for Conservation, Access and Recreation reporting. Responsibilities moved to DEFRA
DWI Drinking Water Inspectorate. The government body which regulates the water industry, ensuring compliance with Drinking Water Standards
EA Environment Agency
EMS Environmental Management System
Environmental Management Champions Those with responsibility for (a component of) Environmental Management and its communication to a wider audience within the organisation
Final Effluent Liquid wastewater at treatment end point
HSE Health and Safety Executive
Intranet Internal company-wide website available to staff only
KPI Key Performance Indicators
kWh Kilowatts per hour; a unit of energy
Loss Loss to a business is a negative consequence that can be financial, reputational, environmental, of time or resources etc
Management Control Management decisions and actions undertaken to prevent losses occurring
Management System A systemised approach to management control (usually involving formal documentation and manuals containing operational instruction)
Ml Megalitre. One million litres, a volumetric measurement
Ml/day Megalitres per day
NGOs Non-government organisations
Ofgem Office of Water Services, the government body with legal responsibility to regulate the water industry
Risk The likelihood of an incident occurring (with associated potential to cause loss)
Save-a-Flush bag The water-displacement device used in the toilet cistern to reduce the amount of water used when flushing
Screening Opinion Technical opinion of potential environmental impact of a proposed development submitted to local planning authority
Settlement tank These are used to settle-out solid matter from liquid wastewater at several stages in the treatment process
Sludge recycling Use of the bioproduct from wastewater treatment as a soil conditioner and fertiliser
SSSI Site of Special Scientific Interest
Stakeholders Those that may affect or be affected by particular decisions, activities or operations
SUDs Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems
Target A level of performance set for attainment
Turbidity A measure of the opaqueness of a liquid
UKWIR UK Water Industry Research Limited
Wash water recovery Where excess water used in treatment works for water supply is recycled back into the treatment works
Wastewater treatment Involves separation of solid matter from wastewater followed by biological (and sometimes other kinds of) treatment of liquid
Water UK The industry association which represents UK water and wastewater services suppliers at national and European level
WSW Water Supply Works
WTW Wastewater Treatment Works