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Jargon Buster

Welcome to our Acronyms and Abbrieviations page.

The water industry, along with many others, uses a wide range of acronyms on a daily basis and often, people who don’t know what things like ‘AV’ and ‘COD’ mean are afraid to ask.

This guide is designed to help you get acronym friendly!

A

AMP – Asset Management Period – A defined funding cycle enforced by the regulator upon the utilities industries. For the water industry it is a five year cycle.
ATEX – ATmosphères Explosives – Two separate but related EU directives describing what equipment is allowed within an explosive atmosphere. Equipment designed for an explosive atmosphere (such as a sewer) must be ATEX certified according to the zone (risk level) classification. Similar to IECEx but ATEX is an EU directive whereas IECEx is an industry standard
AV – Area Velocity – Industry standard measurement method for open channel liquid flow.

B

BMS – Building Management System – A computer based control system designed to gather data and control security and utilities within that building.
BOD – Biological Oxygen Demand – A water quality measurement referring to the level of oxygen demand of the biological organisms within a water sample. Biological oxygen demand constitutes a proportion of the total chemical oxygen demand.

C

CIWEM – Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management – The UK professional body working to advance the science and methods in the field of water and environmental resource management.
COD – Chemical Oxygen Demand – A water quality measurement referring to the quantity of chemical compounds within a water sample that can be oxidised.
CP/CPP – Critical Point/Critical Pressure Point – A point of increased requirement within a water network DMA. Usually this is the highest point within the DMA or a large industrial user.
CSO – Combined Sewer Overflow – Either the overflowing of a combined sanitary and surface water sewer or alternatively the storage system designed to protect the environment from such an event.

D

DCWW – Dwr Cymru Welsh Water – A water and wastewater company covering Wales.
DLO – Distribution Leakage Operative – A member of staff working within the water industry responsible for day to day waste water management.
DMA/DMZ – District Metering Area/District Metering Zone – A discrete area/zone of a regional water distribution network within which the water flow and pressure can be segmented and controlled usually by the use of boundary valves.
DNP – Distribution Network Protocol – Remote communication protocol designed to provide interoperability between equipment of different manufacturers.

E

EA – Environment Agency – Regulatory body responsible for the protection of the environment within England.
EDF – Event Duration Frequency – The likelihood of the length of time of a given rainfall event occurring.
Ꜫx – Explosive – Shorthand for ATEX. A Ꜫx mark on a piece of equipment means that it has been ATEX certified.

F
FOG – Fats, Oils and Greases – A generic term for the organic compounds generated by food or food processing waste that enters sewers and can cause significant risk of blockage.

G/H/I

IDF – Intensity Duration Frequency – Usually used in relation to an IDF Curve, which is the graphical interpretation of rainfall intensity against rainfall duration associated with a likelihood of a storm occurring.
IECEx – International Electrotechnical Commission – A system for certification of equipment designed for an Explosive atmosphere. Similar to ATEX but IECEx is an industry standard whereas ATEX is an EU directive
IHI – Interactive Human Intelligence – A combination of intelligent software alongside experienced human analysts to provide optimum data interpretation.
I/I – Infiltration and Inflow – Water entering a sanitary sewer inappropriately causing increased volume and dilution of the sewage. Infiltration refers to groundwater water entering through broken pipes of joints whereas inflow refers to surface/rain water entering through incorrect connections.
I/O – Input/Output – The inputs and outputs of any process system whether that be computer, PLC or water distribution network.
IP – Ingress Protection – A standards system detailing the level of protection a device has from ingress by solids or liquids. Equipment designed for the water industry is generally IP68 rated meaning that it is protected against dust ingress and immersion within a liquid over 1m deep.
IS – Intrinsic Safety – A protection requirement for electrical equipment designed for hazardous areas. Equipment to be installed gaseous and potentially explosive atmospheres (such as sewers) must be IS rated to ensure that they cannot emit sparks or arcs.

J/K/L

KPI – Key Performance Indicator – A measurement performance indicator analysing the success or failure of a given set of project parameters.

M

M&E – Mechanical and Electrical – A general term encompassing the related mechanical and electrical disciplines found in most parts of industrial process and control.
MEICA – Mechanical, Electrical, Industrial, Control and Automation – A general descriptor for industrial processing systems.

N

NRW – National Resources Wales – Government body responsible for the protection of the environment within Wales.
NWL – Northumbrian Water Ltd – A water and wastewater company covering the North East of England.

O

ODI – Outcome Delivery Incentives – A scheme of rewards and penalties imposed by the water regulator Ofwat upon the UK Water industry. These incentives relate to agreed targets and performance commitments.
Ofwat – The Office for Water – The economic regulator for the water industry within England and Wales.

P/Q

PLC – Programmable Logic Controller – A rugged computer device used in industrial control systems. Usually contains a number of inputs and outputs linked up to a central processing unit.
PRV – Pressure Reducing Valve – A type of valve used to regulate or limit water pressure within a defined system or network.
PS/SPS – Sewage/Pumping Station – A building or facility containing pumps, valves and often additional telemetry equipment designed to move waste water from one location to another.

R

RTU – Remote Telemetry Unit – An electronic device installed on location that gathers information from attached sensors and relays that information to centralised data gathering or SCADA system.

S

SCADA – Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition – A software system used to gather and analyse data from a number of telemetered devices. Depending on the device this may be one way or two way communication.
SEPA – Scottish Environmental Protection Agency – Regulatory body responsible for the protection of the environment within Scotland.
STW – Severn Trent Water – A water and wastewater company covering the Midlands and parts of Wales.
STW – Sewage Treatment Works – An industrial site where sewage is treated for the purpose of safe disposal or conversion into a more useful substance. Also often known as a Wastewater Treatment Works. Within the UK these are usually managed by the local water utility.
SuDS – Sustainable Drainage System – A system designed to reduce the potential impact of new and existing development on surface water drainage.

T/U

UDG – Urban Drainage Group – Part of CIWEM that focusses specifically on best practice in Urban Drainage. Formally known as WaPUG.
UU – United Utilities – A water and wastewater company covering the North West of England.

V/W

WaPUG – Wastewater and Pollution User Group – Part of CIWEM that focusses specifically on best practice in wastewater and pollution studies. Now known as UDG.
WITS – Water Industry Telemetry Standard – A water industry standard remote communication protocol designed to provide interoperability between equipment of different manufacturers.
WTW – Water Treatment Works– An industrial site where raw water is treated for the purpose of making potable (safe to drink) water. Within the UK these are usually managed by the local water Utility.
WwTW – Waste Water Treatment Works – An industrial site where wastewater is treated for the purpose of safe disposal or conversion into a more useful substance. Also often known as a Sewage Treatment Works though Wastewater Treatment is a more general term and my also apply to works controlled by large industrial users as well as the local water utility.

X/Y/Z

YW – Yorkshire Water – A water and wastewater company covering Yorkshire and some parts of North Midlands.

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