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Glossary

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Glossary

Low mineralised water

Water is defined as 'low mineralised' if its dry residue at 180 °C is between 50 and 500 mg/L. 'Low mineralised water' is suitable for daily use and is a good diuretic.

Sampling

In chemical analysis, sampling is the set of operations needed to prepare a sample that is a quantity of substance or a part of a material that must then be analysed. Samples must be representative of the entire substance or material, which they are collected from.

Concentration

Concentrations of substances dissolved in water are normally expressed in milligrams per litre (mg/L), meaning one thousandth of a gram in one litre of water, or in micrograms per litre (μg/L), which is a millionth of a gram in a litre of water, or in nanograms per litre (ng/L), which corresponds to one billionth of a gram in one litre of water.

CO2 equivalent

These are the greenhouse gas emission, the global warming effects of which are rendered CO2-equivalent according to established conversion tables. Methane (CH4) exerts a global warming effect that is 21 times that of CO2 while nitrous oxide (N2O) has an effect 310 times that of CO2.

Aquifer

An aquifer is defined as a water deposit that collects in porous layers of the subsoil consisting of, for example, sands and gravels. It is fed by rainwater that infiltrates the ground. Aquifer waters generally maintain a constant temperature, close to the average temperature of the rocks they are embedded in. Deeper layers maintain their position undisturbed, often for millions of years.

More superficial layers are involved in the hydrological cycle and play an important role in it.

Water aggressiveness index The aggressiveness of water defines its propensity to attack and solubilise certain minerals contained in rock, soil or building materials. Aggressive waters generally have low salt content, low alkalinity and a free carbon dioxide content defined as 'aggressive'. Aggressiveness can cause deterioration of cement and thus damage cement fibre pipes, consequently releasing asbestos fibres into the water. The lower the aggressiveness rating value, the higher the aggressiveness of the water Aggressiveness values lower than 12 indicate waters that generally corrode cement structures.

Nanogram

Unit of measure of mass. A nanogram (ng) is one billionth of a gram.

WHO

The World Health Organisation is the UN agency that focuses on health matters. It was founded on 7 April 1948 and is based in Geneva. The WHO’s goal is to ensure that all populations have the highest possible level of health, meaning a condition of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not only the absence of illness or infirmity.

Organohalogenated substances

These are organic substances containing halogenes (fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, and astatine). As concerns drinking water, organohalogenated substances of interest include certain solvents present in water as a result of environmental pollution (trichlorethylene, tetrachlorethylene) and the so-called "trihalomethanes" which are by-products of disinfection processes that use sodium hypochlorite. For tetrachloroethylene+trichloroethylene and total trihalomethanes-see the appendix.

PET

PET, polyethylene terephthalate, is a versatile, light, unbreakable plastic that is mainly used in packaging. It can be easily recycled after use. PET is produced entirely from oil or methane. About 1.9 kg of oil is needed to make about 1 kg of PET.

PFAS

Perfluoroalkyl or PFAS substances are synthetic chemical compounds origin. Their molecules have at least one fluorine atom. The most common PFAS family substances are PFOS and PFOA. These are used to manufacture impermeable and non-stick materials and produce detergents, paints and pesticides.

Subsidence

This is a gradual lowering of the ground caused by the compaction of materials. Subsidence may be either natural, when very porous sediments tend to collapse under load, or artificial (induced subsidence). For example, artificial subsidence may occur when water, oil or gas are extracted from the ground, leaving empty intergranular spaces that make the ground settle.

Chemical treatment

Chemical treatment is a process that uses chemical reagents to modify the molecular structure of substances. In water purification, for example, ozone is used to oxidise and modify organic substances in the water.

Physical treatment

Physical treatment is a process that uses the physical properties of substances contained in the water (size, weight, density) to separate them.

UNI EN ISO/IEC 17025:2005

This standard specifies the general requisites laboratories need to comply with to perform tests and/or calibrations, including sampling. It covers testing and calibration performed according to standardized methods, non-standardized methods and methods developed by the laboratories.

UNI EN ISO 9001:2015

ISO 9001 is the recognised worldwide standard for certifying Quality Management Systems in organisations of any size in any industry.

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