TAB A - Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Glossary

Abbreviations and Acronyms


US Army Central Command (3d Army)


milligrams per liter


Navy Forward Laboratory


potential hydrogen


petroleum, oils, and lubricants


parts per million


Presidential Oversight Board


reverse osmosis water purification unit


Secretary of Defense


situation report


semi-trailer mounted fabric tank
USAF United States Air Force
USCENTAF United States Central Command Air Force


United States Central Command


Acute health effect

An immediate (within hours or days) effect that may result from exposure to certain water contaminants.


Treatment of water by the addition of chlorine either as a gas or liquid, or in the form of hypochlorite powder, usually for the purpose of disinfection.

Chlorine demand

The difference between the amount of chlorine added to water and the amount of residual chlorine remaining at the end of a specified contact period.

Chlorine residual

The total amount of chlorine remaining in water at the end of a specified contact period following chlorination.

Chronic health effect

The possible result of exposure over many years to a drinking water contaminant at levels above recommended standards.


A group of related bacteria whose presence in water may indicate contamination by disease-causing microorganisms.


Any physical, chemical, biological, or radiological substance or matter in water that may be harmful to human health or which degrades the palatability of water.


The process of killing harmful and objectionable microorganisms by various agents such as chemicals, heat, ultraviolet light, ultrasonic waves, or radiation.

Escherichia Coli (E. Coli)

One of the species of bacteria in the coliform group. Its presence is considered indicative of fecal contamination.

Field water supply system

The assemblage of collection, purification, storage, transportation, and distribution equipment and personnel to provide potable water to field units.

Finished water

Water that has been treated and is ready for use.

Fixed installation

An installation that through extended use, has gained structures and facilities not initially found or intended for use at a temporary standard facility (paved roads, fixed electrical distribution systems, fixed water treatment facilities, and underground distribution lines).

Ground water

Water occurring in an aquifer below the surface of the ground. The term is not applied to water that is percolating or held in the top layers of the soil, but to that below the water table.

Non-potable water

Water that has not been examined, properly treated, and approved by appropriate authorities as being safe for consumption; in Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield, all water was considered non-potable until examined, properly treated, and approved.

Palatable water

Water that is free from most color, cloudiness, unpleasant tastes, and odor

Potable water

Water that is free from disease-producing organisms, poisonous substances, chemical, biological, and radioactive contaminants which would make it unfit for human consumption and many other uses

Raw water

Untreated water; usually the water first entering a water purification unit

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis is a process that separates impurities from water by forcing it through filters under great pressure into a spirally wound tube called a reverse osmosis element. The membrane allows water to pass through the filter while rejecting suspended and dissolved impurities and most color and odor-causing compounds. If the filters do not absorb the contaminants, then they have to pass through three post-treatment cylinders

Surface Water

The water from sources open to the atmosphere, such as rivers, lakes, and reservoirs.

Total dissolved solids

The dissolved matter found in water comprised of mineral salts and small amounts of other inorganic and organic substances. The total dissolved solids standard was established to prevent chemically induced diarrhea, which could interfere with soldiers’ performance.

Treated water

Water that has undergone a cleansing process such as sedimentation, filtration, or disinfection, and that is ready for consumption. During the Gulf War, it was not considered potable until preventive medicine personnel had inspected it and the command surgeon had approved it.

Water quality

The chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of water with respect to its suitability for a particular purpose; the same water may be of good quality for one purpose or use, and poor for another, depending on its characteristics and the requirements for the particular use.

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