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Terms

PCA
PCE
Peat

Peat

Definition

An organic material found in marshy or damp regions, composed of partially decayed vegetable matter. Peat forms part of the soil profile at Botany.
Penrhyn Estuary

Penrhyn Estuary

Definition

The man-made estuary located in Botany/Banksmeadow on Botany Bay, adjacent to Port Botany. Its tributaries are two stormwater drains, Floodvale Drain and Springvale Drain, that run through industrial estates in the area. The estuary was created in the 1970s following land reclamation works for Brotherson Docks at Port Botany.
Perchloroethylene (PCE)

Perchloroethylene (PCE)

Definition

Also known as tetrachloroethene - dry cleaning fluid. A chlorinated hydrocarbon manufactured at the former Solvents Plant at the BIP until closure in 1991.
See also: Chlorinated hydrocarbon (CHC)
Percolate

Percolate

Definition

To cause a matter (often water) to pass through a porous material or small holes.
Permeability

Permeability

Definition

Rate at which fluid can be transmitted through a porous medium.
Persistent chemical

Persistent chemical

Definition

A chemical which doesn't break down in the environment into less harmful substances.
Persistent organic pollutant (POP)

Persistent organic pollutant (POP)

Definition

Carbon-based or organic compounds that include synthesised substances (e.g. pesticides and PCBs) and by-products generated as a result of both human and natural activity (e.g. dioxins and furan, and hexachlorobenzene [HCB]). POPs are characteristically toxic, environmentally persistent, bioaccumulative in fatty tissues, and semi-volatile. To address global concerns about POPs, an international convention, the Stockholm Convention, was established to reduce/eliminate their production, use, and/or release under the support of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The UNEP acts as the secretariat body for the convention.
See also: Dioxins, Hexachlorobenzene (HCB)
pH

pH

Definition

A measure of how acidic or basic a liquid is. The pH scale starts at 1 and ends at 14. A pH of 1 indicates a very acidic solution (e.g., Coca Cola has a pH of around 2). A pH of 14 indicates something that is very alkaline (e.g. liquid caustic soda and bicarbonate of soda are also examples of alkaline materials).
Piezometer

Piezometer

Definition

A well with a short slotted screen for measuring a potentiometric surface or elevation of the water table. Also used for collecting groundwater samples at a discrete depth.
See also: Groundwater, Potentiometric surface
Plume

Plume

Definition

In the groundwater context it is a mass of contaminated water extending outward from the source of the contamination, (similar to plume of smoke being emitted to air from a smoke stack).
See also: Groundwater
POP
Pore

Pore

Definition

A space in soil not filled by solid particles, but with air or water.
Potentiometric surface

Potentiometric surface

Definition

An imaginary surface representing the total head/pressure of groundwater and defined by the level to which water will rise in a well.
See also: Groundwater
ppm

ppm

Definition

Parts per million – a measure of concentration.
Precipitation

Precipitation

Definition

A process where a dissolved substance is converted into insoluble form by chemical reaction to separate it from a solution. In a meteorological sense it is also used to describe rain, hail, snow, sleet, etc.
Primary Containment Area (PCA)

Primary Containment Area (PCA)

Definition

The groundwater containment area located on Orica property at McPherson Street, Banksmeadow.
Pump and treat

Pump and treat

Definition

Remediation process where groundwater is pumped to the surface and treated to remove contamination.
See also: Groundwater
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