Combined Sewer System – a sewer system that collect waste water and storm water in a single pipe. In sustained periods of wet weather, they can quickly become inundated and are forced to overflow untreated into an adjacent water body.

Eutrophication – The addition of natural or artificial substances, such as nitrates or phosphates, into a body of water. It can occur naturally but can also be the result of fertilizers or sewage being deposited into the water. The growth of excessive algae is promoted and oxygen levels are depleted causing the death of other organisms, such as fish.

Green infrastructure – is an approach to wet weather management that is cost-effective, sustainable, and environmentally friendly.

Greenway – strips of undeveloped land near urban areas that are set aside for both recreational use and environmental protection.

Rain Garden – a shallow depression that is planted with deep-rooted native plants and grasses. It is positioned near a run-off source in order to capture rainwater runoff and prevent water reaching the sewer system.

Riparian – pertaining to, or situated on the bank of a river or other body of water.

Riparian forest buffers – are an interwoven mix of trees, shrubs, and grasses along the banks of waterways.  These balanced habitats provide food, shelter, water, and space to facilitate well developed and diverse species populations.  In addition to being advantageous for wildlife, forest buffers are beneficial to human populations.  Forest buffers can help improve a communities economic situation by lowering the costs of storm water management, and increasing adjacent property values (thus creating greater tax revenue for the region).  In urban areas riparian forest buffers are crucial tools used in managing and reducing the impacts of adjacent land use, such as non point source pollution from entering our waterways.   Riparian forest buffers act to stabilize shorelines by anchoring soil into place.  This ensures that waterways do not quickly erode away during flash flood events.

Watershed – an area of land where all of the water goes into the same place; a drainage basin.