Adit - a nearly horizontal passage from the surface in a mine
Arsenic - Arsenic is a naturally occurring element which, in its pure form, is a silver-grey crystalline solid. In the environment it is usually combined with other elements in a variety of organic and inorganic forms.
Background Water Quality - the physical, chemical and/or biological conditions of a waterbody at a point upstream/ up current of a polluting source. The establishment of background water quality may be based on historical data or on water quality in a similar, uncontaminated waterbody.
Baghouse -a device or facility in which particulates are removed from a stream of exhaust gases (as from a blast furnace) as the stream passes through a large cloth bag; also : the bag used to filter the gas stream.
Bioaccumulation - the process by which chemicals are amassed by organisms from water directly or through the consumption of food containing the chemicals.
By-product - material other than the principal product that is generated as a consequence of an industrial process.
Cap - a cover over hazardous waste sites or landfills, usually made of clean soils or clay, that prevents rainwater from seeping through soil and causing contaminants in the soil to flow into the groundwater.
Certificate of Approval (C of A) - a legal document that permits and controls the manner in which activities are carried out (e.g., effluent quality limits). They are binding on the recipient and are directly enforceable by prosecution under provincial legislation.
Contaminant - a substance not naturally present in the environment or present in amounts that can negatively affect the environment.
Copper - a common reddish metallic element that is ductile and malleable and is one of the best conductors of heat and electricity/
Cobalt - a tough lustrous silver-white magnetic metallic element that is related to and occurs with iron and nickel and is used especially in alloys.
Downstream - in the direction with the flow of a stream or river; downriver.
Drainage Basin - a body of water and the land draining into it.
Effluent - the wastewater discharged to a receiving water body.
Effluent Limit - a legally enforceable effluent requirement.
Environmental Health Risk Study - (Multimedia Health Risk Assessment) The multimedia approach to health risk assessment examines total exposure to contaminants through a number of possible pathways, such as air, soil, drinking water and food. By examining the various means of exposure, as well as the levels of exposure to a contaminant, the study not only predicts the likelihood of a health risk, it also helps identify actions needed to reduce that risk. It does not, however, provide a diagnosis of the present health status of people living in the community.
Groundwater - the fresh or saline waters found beneath the earth's surface that often supply wells and springs. Contrast to 'surface water'.
Hazardous substance - chemicals that are persistent, bioaccumulative and extremely toxic.
Hazardous waste - any substance that is a by-product of society and is classified under law as potentially harmful to human health or the environment. Hazardous wastes are subject to special handling, shipping, storage, and disposal requirements under the laws of the country and province or state.
Heavy metals - Metallic elements with high atomic weights that tend to be toxic and bioaccumulate. Examples are mercury, arsenic, lead, etc.
Loading - the amount of a material entering a system over a given time interval.
Medium (plural: media) - a surrounding substance in the environment: water, air, or sediment.
Multi-media - involving multiple media, such as water and air, or air and sediment.
Multi-media Health Risk Assessment - see Environmental Health Risk Study.
Natural Background Water Quality - Chemical, physical and biological quality of a waterbody, if unaffected by human activity.
Nickel - a silver-white hard malleable ductile metallic element capable of a high polish and resistant to corrosion that is used chiefly in alloys and as a catalyst.
Order - a document that requires the discharger to take specific action with an associated deadline. It is authorized by statute, binding on the recipient, and directly enforceable by prosecution.
Parameter - a measurable or quantifiable characteristic or feature of water quality.
Precipitate - a substance separated from a solution or suspension by chemical or physical change usually as an insoluble amorphous or crystalline solid
Radioactivity - Radioactivity is a natural process by which the excess energy of unstable atoms is released spontaneously in the form of particles or waves. The end product of this activity is radiation.
Radon gas - radon is a radioactive gas that is colourless, odourless and tasteless. It is formed by the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water.
"Red mud" - "red mud" is a ferric hydroxide material, the by-product of the smelting and refining of ores containing gold, arsenic, silver, cobalt, copper and iron.
Remedial Actions - actions undertaken to upgrade water quality and restore uses to a waterbody previously impaired. Initial actions are usually to eliminate or reduce the source(s) of the problem and can include physical intervention (e.g. dredging, artificial aeration, flow augmentation, etc.)
Runoff - water that flows over the land surface into a waterbody.
Silver - a white metallic element that is sonorous, ductile, very malleable, capable of a high degree of polish, and chiefly univalent in compounds, and that has the highest thermal and electric conductivity of any substance.
Stope - a usually steplike excavation underground for the removal of ore that is formed as the ore is mined in successive layers
Tailings - residue separated in the preparation of various products (as with ores)
Tributary - a stream or river that flows into a larger stream, river, or lake.
Upstream - in the direction against the flow of a stream or river; upriver.
Watershed - the area of land drained by a river/stream and its tributaries; also a body of water and the land that drains into it