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Wastewater is a term used to describe the spent or used water from a home, community, farm, or industry that contains dissolved or suspended matter. However, wastewater is not just sewage. Defined as domestic, industrial, agricultural, and stormwater flows that drain into sewage collection systems, wastewater reflects the geographic character of communities and environments.

Sewage, or refuse liquid and waste matter produced by residences and come to the patterns and politics of water availability, governance, and waste-making. Biological, chemical, and material compounds ranging from pathogenic bacteria to pharmaceutical compounds and trash. In large quantities, these compounds produce adverse effects on human and ecological systems


For example, in municipalities with integrated storm drains and sewer infrastructure, stormwater mixes with wastewater after severe rainfall events, often resulting in combined sewer overflows. These overflows, in tandem with renegade wastewater flows and increased urban runoff water, frequently result in poor water quality. See water pollution

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