Glossary

Learn about the different types of contaminants that might put your family at risk.

operating pressure
The range of pressure, usually expressed in pounds per square inch, over which a water conditioning device or water system is designed to function.
organic iron
(See iron bacteria.)
organic matter
Substances of or derived from plant or animal matter, as opposed to inorganic matter derived from rocks and minerals.  Organic matter is characterized by its carbon-hydrogen structure.
osmosis
A process of diffusion of a solvent such as water through a semi permeable membrane which will transmit the solvent but impede most dissolved substances.  The normal flow of solvent is from the diluted solution to the concentrated solution.  (See reverse osmosis.)
oxidant
A chemical substance capable of promoting oxidation, for example O2, O3, Cl2.
oxidation
A chemical process in which electrons are removed from an atom, ion, or compound.  The addition of oxygen is a specific form of oxidation.  Combustion is an extremely rapid form of oxidation, while the rusting of iron is a slow form. 
ozone
An unstable form of oxygen (O3), which can be generated by an electrical discharge through air or regular oxygen.  It is a strong oxidizing agent and has been used in water conditioning as a disinfectant.