Wastewater (or waste water) is water generated after the use of freshwater, raw water, drinking water or saline water in a variety of deliberate applications or processes.[1]: 1  Another definition of wastewater is "Used water from any combination of domestic, industrial, commercial or agricultural activities, surface runoff / storm water, and any sewer inflow or sewer infiltration".[2]: 175  In everyday usage, wastewater is commonly a synonym for sewage (also called domestic wastewater or municipal wastewater), which is wastewater that is produced by a community of people.

As a generic term, wastewater may also describe water containing contaminants accumulated in other settings, such as:


  1. ^ Tchobanoglous, George; Burton, Franklin L.; Stensel, H. David; Metcalf & Eddy (2003). Wastewater engineering : treatment and reuse (4th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-041878-0. OCLC 48053912.
  2. ^ Tilley, E.; Ulrich, L.; Lüthi, C.; Reymond, Ph.; Zurbrügg, C. (2014). Compendium of Sanitation Systems and Technologies – (2nd Revised ed.). Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag), Duebendorf, Switzerland. ISBN 978-3-906484-57-0. Archived from the original on 8 April 2016.