City logo home page link



RainScapes Definitions

To fully understand the watershed concept and the principals behind Stormwater management, there is some terminology you should be familiar with:

Black Water/Sewer Water: waste water from toilets or urinals. 

Downspout: a pipe that carries rainwater from a roof to a drain or to the ground 

Graywater: water from bathroom sinks, bath tub shower drains, and clothes washing equipment drains. 

Gutter: a shallow trough at the perimeter of a structure that collects rainwater 

Hardscape: a built structures or surfaces made with hard materials covering the natural surface (concrete, pavers, asphalt, brick, walls, wood decks, )

Impervious Surface: a surface that does not allow water to percolate through; eliminating rainwater infiltration and natural groundwater recharge.

Pervious Surface/Porous Surface: a surface that allows water to percolate through

Potable Water: drinking water safe to be consumed by humans (Clean water act 1972 EPA).

Recycled Water: reusing treated wastewater for agriculture and landscape irrigation, industrial processes, toilet flushing, and ground water replenishing.

Roof Area: area of roof of a structure

Runoff: water that flows over the surface of the lands when rainfall is not able to infiltrate into the soil

Stormwater: generated when precipitation from rain events flow over land or impervious surfaces and does not percolate into the ground.

Storm Drain/Storm Sewer: collects excess water from the surface and drains it to underground collection pipes 

Storm Drain Outfall: discharge point of the storm drain system