Government of New Brunswick

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small aquatic plants occurring as single cells, colonies, or filaments.

algae blooms
excess algal growth often indicating high levels of nutrients.

aquatic community
the full assemblage of plants, animals and other biota living together in an aquatic setting in a definable area, that, together with their habitat, form a functional unit with an identifiable structure.

aquatic life
plant and animal species as well as bacteria that live all or part of their lives in an aquatic community, such as fish, amphibians and aquatic invertebrates.

aquatic plants
plants having true roots, stems and leaves that can be grouped into four categories:  1) emergent (rise well above the water surface); 2) rooted floating-leaved (leaves rest on or slightly above the water surface); 3) submergent (all or most of their leaves and stems are below the water surface); and 4) free-floating (on the lake surface).


Best Management Practices (BMP)
a method, measure or practice that, when installed or used, is consistent with an efficient, practical, technically and environmentally sound activity.  A BMP designed specifically with respect to water quality will prevent, reduce or correct water pollution.

All of the living organisms, including animals, plants, fungi, and microorganisms, found in a given area.


dissolved oxygen
a measure of the gaseous oxygen dissolved in water, expressed in parts per million (ppm) or milligrams per litre (mg/L).  Sufficient dissolved oxygen is one of the basic requirements for a life in an aquatic system.  Sources of dissolved oxygen include water flowing into the lake, transfer from the atmosphere (gas exchange), and photosynthetic production by aquatic plants.


biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment.

is the removal and loss of surface material by the action of water, ice, gravity, or wind.

a process which can result naturally or from human activities.  Naturally, eutrophication is an aging process in lakes which is determined by inputs of silt, nutrients, and organic matter usually over thousands of years.   Cultural or human induced eutrophication is the cumulative, dramatic increased loads of nutrient, soil, or organic matter resulting from broadly-based human activities.


an artificially created watercourse with the characteristics of a lake.

indigenous species
a species which is native or belongs naturally in a place.


a watercourse with very slow flowing water which occupies a basin, including impoundments or ponds.  Lakes do not include artificially created ponds such as excavations, ponds constructed on golf courses or containment structures used for the following purposes: agriculture, wastewater treatment, fish culture or fire protection.


mixing zone
the area of initial dilution of a contaminant in a watercourse at the point where the contaminant is released into the watercourse.


naturally occurring
referring to an aquatic community or a watercourse which displays physical, chemical and biological characteristics that are not affected or are only minimally or temporarily affected by human activity;

non-point source discharge
pollution that is broadly-based with respect to its origin.  Usually results when land-use activities (such as residential, forestry, agriculture or construction activities) contribute pollutants in a diffuse manner, often after precipitation events.


Outreach and Partnering Initiative
an initiative within the Department of Environment and Local Government that aims to develop partnerships with community groups and other stakeholders, to provide outreach opportunities and technical support in a variety of water and watershed planning and management activities throughout the province.


point source discharge
pollution discharged directly into the environment, usually through a discharge pipe.  Includes industrial and commercial process effluent, and collected human wastes.

primary contact activity
a recreational or other activity in or on a watercourse in the course of which there is usually a risk of contact with, or of ingestion of, the water.  These activities include swimming, wading, diving, water-skiing and shoreline contact.


secondary contact activity
a recreational or other activity in or on a watercourse in the course of which there is not a high risk of contact with, or of ingestion of, the water.  These activities include fishing and boating.

the deposition of fine particles which have been eroded from an exposed surface and transported by water.


trophic status
the status of the biological productivity of the water of a watercourse, based on measures of the secchi depth, chlorophyll a, phosphorus or a combination of them.


Water Classification Regulation
New Brunswick Regulation 2002-13 under the Clean Water Act that established water quality standards and administrative procedures to set goals for water use and protection.  Rivers, tributaries, or segments of rivers are placed into categories based on the desired level of protection.  All lakes, ponds and impoundments are classified into the AL Class.

the New Brunswick Clean Water Act defines a watercourse as the full width and length, including the bed, banks, sides and shoreline, or any part of a river, creek, spring, stream, brook, lake, pond reservoir, canal, ditch, or other natural or artificial channel open to the atmosphere, the primary function of which is to convey or contain water whether or not the flow be continuous.

Watercourse and Wetland Alteration Regulation
The purpose of the Watercourse and Wetland Alteration Regulation (90-80) - Clean Water Act is to protect provincial streams, rivers, wetlands, and lakes from work or ground disturbance in their vicinity.   Any person intending to do work involving soil disturbance within 30 metres of a watercourse such as construction, demolition, clearing land, landscaping, etc. requires a permit.

water quality
a measure of the chemical, physical and biological characteristics of water, including measurements of temperature, dissolved oxygen content, microbiology, the concentrations of numerous chemical substances, and biological measures such as fish passage or habitat quality.

Water Quality Regulation
New Brunswick Regulation 82-126 under the Clean Environment Act directs a process for the approval of industrial operations that discharge to water.  Applications for approvals are submitted to the Minister and an environmental review is conducted by staff of the Department of the Environment and Local Government.  Approvals are accompanied by conditions which control construction and operating activities including the quality and quantity of contaminants which may be discharged from a facility.

water quantity
a measure of the volume of water, including measurements of water during various conditions of flow.  Water quantity and quality are interrelated.  During high flow periods, more water is available to dilute concentrations of substances in the water.  During low flow periods, substances may become more concentrated, as a lesser volume of water is available for dilution.

is formed of two major components: water and land.   A watershed is a drainage basin in which water flows over land or within streams and lakes towards a specific point at a lower elevation.