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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

also waste-water, mid-15c., from waste (adj.) + water (n.1).


n. Any water that has been used by some human domestic or industrial activity and, because of that, now contains waste products.


n. water mixed with waste matter [syn: effluent, sewer water]


Wastewater, also written as waste water, is any water that has been adversely affected in quality by anthropogenic influence. Wastewater can originate from a combination of domestic, industrial, commercial or agricultural activities, surface runoff or stormwater, and from sewer inflow or infiltration.

Municipal wastewater (also called sewage) is usually conveyed in a combined sewer or sanitary sewer, and treated at a wastewater treatment plant. Treated wastewater is discharged into receiving water via an effluent pipe. Wastewaters generated in areas without access to centralized sewer systems rely on on-site wastewater systems. These typically comprise a septic tank, drain field, and optionally an on-site treatment unit. The management of wastewater belongs to the overarching term sanitation, just like the management of human excreta, solid waste and stormwater (drainage).

Sewage is a type of wastewater that comprises domestic wastewater and is therefore contaminated with feces or urine from people's toilets, but the term sewage is also used to mean any type of wastewater. Sewerage is the physical infrastructure, including pipes, pumps, screens, channels etc. used to convey sewage from its origin to the point of eventual treatment or disposal.

Usage examples of "wastewater".

We also mucked around with battery chargers and microphone headsets, and cleaned things up in the Green Hab, which is connected to the habitat structure and processes our wastewater through plastic filters and five different baths of algae and bacteria.

To pass the time, Bill and Alex repaired Backpack 6, while Julie experimented with the Crock-Pot and bread machine and Peter cultured wastewater samples downstairs in the lab.

The nearest discussion was a passionate argument about wastewater treatment laws in the Central Plains.

A 25,000-gallon cistern that collects house wastewater and rainwater for reuse in irrigating the gardens.

The remaining water from the troughs went out by a drain hole, and into a stone-lined pit where waste and wastewater of the whole village collected.

Some airports have specially designed drainage systems or wastewater treatment plants just for this purpose.

But more refuse and wastewater is generated on the space station than can be returned to Earth in the empty space in a personnel transfer module.

This meant two things: garbage dump detail, and processing wastewater into fuel for the resistojet thrusters.

Splashing in the wastewater, a rat scurried by, already dying from the diluted acid.

The idea was to use the hearty little beast to help clean up the wastewater from their bomb factories and weapons arsenals.

A sewer drilled at the lower end of the shaft conveyed the wastewater to a conduit at the cliff base that ran through the wall of the Capulus to empty into the Acis below the city.

Lengthen the chain of processing steps between wastewater and drinking water.

Bits of white ash covered the thick-looking wastewater, but the green-and-gray scum-fuzz had disappeared.