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Home>Water University>Water Glossary>Water Glossary: N

Water Glossary: N

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Nanometer Abbreviated "nm", a unit of length equal to one thousandth of a micrometer. Often used to express the wavelength of ultraviolet light and the colors of visible light in colorimetric analytical procedures.
Negative Charge The electrical charge on an electrode or ion in solution, due to the presence of an excess of electrons. (See electron, anion.)
Negative Head A condition of negative pressure or partial vacuum.
Negative Pressure A pressure below that of the surrounding atomspheric pressure at a specific point; a partial vacuum.
Nephelometric Turbidity Unit An arbitrary unit of measuring the turbidity in water by the light scattering effect of fine suspended particles in a light beam (contrast to "Jackson Turbidity Unit").
Neutral In electrical systems, the term used to indicate neither an excess nor a lack of electrons; a condition of balance between positive and negative charges. In chemistry, the term used to indicate a balance between acids and bases; the neutral point on the pH scale is 7.0, indicating the presence of equal numbers of free hydrogen (acidic) and hydroxide (basic) ions.
Neutralization The addition of either an acid or a base to a solution as required to produce a neutral solution. The use of alkaline or basic materials to neutralize the acidity of some waters is a common practice in water conditioning.
Neutralizer A common designation for alkaline materials such as calcite (calcium carbonate) or magnesia (magnesium oxide) used in the neutralization of acid waters.
Nitrates Inorganic compounds that can enter water supplies from fertilizer runoff and sanitary wastewater discharges. Nitrates in drinking water are associated with methemoglobinemia, or blue baby syndrome, which results from interferences in the bloods ability to carry oxygen.
Noncarbonate Hardness Water hardness due to the presence of compounds such as calcium and magnesium chlorides, sulfates or nitrates; the excess of total hardness over total alkalinity.
Non-Community Water System
A water system which supplies water to 25 or more of the same people at least six months per year in places other than their residences. Some examples are schools, factories, office buildings, and hospitals which have their own water systems. 
Normal Solution A solution containing a gram equivalent weight of a substance in one liter of solution. (See equivalent weight.)
Ntu Abbreviation for "Nephelometric Turbidity Unit".