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Water Glossary: A B C D E F G H IL M N O PQ R S T UV WZ

fecal coliform (FC)

Members of the total coliform group of bacteria that are characterized by their ability to ferment lactose at 112.1° Fahrenheit (44.5° Celsius) and that are considered more specific indicators of fecal contamination than are coliforms that ferment lactose only at 95° Fahrenheit (35° Celsius). Escherichia coli and some Klebsiella pneumoniae strains are the principal fecal coliforms.*


ferric chloride (FeCl3)

An iron salt used as a coagulant in water treatment. The iron has a valence of +3.*



Passing water through coal, sand, and gravel to remove particles.



Clumps of impurities removed from water during the purification process; formed when alum is added to impure water.



A step in water filtration in which alum is added to cause particles to clump together.



Area formed by fine sediments spreading out in the drainage basin on either side of the channel of a river as a result of the river's fluctuating water volume and velocity.


fluoride ion (F-)

A halide ion. Fluoride salts are added to drinking water for fluoridation. Fluoride is regulated by the US Environmental Protection Agency.*


fresh water

Water containing an insignificant amount of salts, such as inland rivers and lakes


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