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Water School

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What are algae?

Algae are photosynthetic organisms that may befound in water. There are many types of alga and any number of the different types may exist in one waterbody at the same time.
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What is greywater?

Greywater is wastewater from household or small commercial establishments that includes water from clothes washing machines, showers and bathtubs, and sinks used for hand washing.  Greywater does not include water from the kitchen sink used in the cleaning of food and from toilets, dishwashers, or water used for washing diapers.In some areas, greywater may be released into the environment without going through a treatment process. Texas laws prohibit the release of greywater into or near lakes s...
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What can be done to remove pharmaceuticals from drinking water?

While water treatment plants can remove some chemicals, at this time, wastewater systems are not designed to remove pharmaceuticals.  At this point, the best way to reduce the amount of chemicals in our water is at their source.Pharmaceuticals enter the water cycle through a variety of sources including drugs that pass through the human body or domestic animals that are not completely absorbed and byproducts of the pharmaceutical manufacturing process.Additionally, improper disposal of old or un...
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What makes water hard or soft?

The mineral content determines whether your elements water is either “hard” or “soft.”  The higher the mineral content, the harder the water. Minerals affecting water hardness can include calcium and magnesium bicarbonate or calcium sulfate, calcium chloride, magnesium sulfate and magnesium chloride.The harder the water, the more soap is needed to make foam or lather. Hard water also produces scale in hot water pipes, heaters, boilers and other places where the water is kept at higher temper...
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What is mineral water?

Mineral water is naturally occurring or prepared water that contains dissolved minerals, elements or gasses, often used therapeutically. Several Brazos River basin towns built industries around local mineral water and its purported healing powers towards the end of the nineteenth century. Those cities included Mineral Wells, Marlin, Waco and others.
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What is a tributary?

A tributary is a small river or stream that merges or flows into a larger river or stream. A river is typically has several tributaries.Numerous tributaries feed into the Brazos River including the Clear, Salt and Double Mountain forks of the Brazos as well as the Navasota, Bosque, Nolan, and Little rivers and Yegua Creek. In addition, those tributaries each have several sub-tributaries, including numerous creeks as well as the Leon and San Gabriel Rivers, among others.
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What is an oxbow?

An oxbow is a severe bend in a river channel creating a “U” shape and leaving a very narrow strip of land between the two bends.  Many times, erosion will wear through this narrow strip and the course of the river changes leaving a “U” shaped or oxbow lake or a dry riverbed. 
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What is an off-channel reservoir?

An off-channel reservoir is a water supply lake built next to or near a river.  Off-channel reservoirs are considered by some to be environmentally friendly, lessening the impact on fish and other wildlife by avoiding the need to place a large dam directly on the main stem of the river.An example of an off-channel reservoir is the Brazos River Authority’s planned and permitted Allens Creek Reservoir, near Houston. For more information about Allens Creek, click here.
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What is a channel?

A channel is a watercourse or path taken by a river, creek or brook. It may be natural or man-made and includes a definite bed and banks that directs the flow of water.
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The information provided on this site is intended as background on water within the Brazos River basin. There should be no expectation that this information is all encompassing, complete or in any way examines every aspect of this very complex natural resource.

If you have questions about a post or would like additional information, please contact us or call 888-922-6272.

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