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Water treatment is any process that makes water more acceptable for a specific end-use. The end use may be drinking, industrial water supply, irrigation, river flow maintenance, water recreation or many other uses, including being safely returned to the environment. Water treatment removes contaminants and undesirable components, or reduces their concentration so that the water becomes fit for its desired end-use.
Waste water, is any water that has been adversely affected in quality by anthropogenic influence. 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.
Reclaimed or recycled water
Reclaimed or recycled water (also called wastewater reuse or water reclamation) is the process of converting wastewater into water that can be reused for other purposes. Reuse may include irrigation of gardens and agricultural fields or replenishing surface water and groundwater (i.e., groundwater recharge). Reused water may also be directed toward fulfilling certain needs in residences (e.g. toilet flushing), businesses, and industry, and could even be treated to reach drinking water standards.
Reclaiming water for reuse applications instead of using freshwater supplies can be a water-saving measure. When used water is eventually discharged back into natural water sources, it can still have benefits to ecosystems, improving stream flow, nourishing plant life and recharging aquifers, as part of the natural water cycle.
Wastewater reuse is a long-established practice used for irrigation, especially in arid countries.
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