Wastewater treatment is the process of removing impurities from wastewater and converting it into effluent that may be recycled back into the water cycle. Once returned to the water cycle, the effluent has a low environmental impact or can be reused for a variety of uses (called water reclamation). A wastewater treatment plant is where the treatment takes place. Various types of wastewater are treated at wastewater treatment plants of the proper type. The treatment plant for domestic wastewater (also known as municipal wastewater or sewage) is known as a sewage treatment plant. The treatment of industrial wastewater takes occur in either a separate industrial wastewater treatment plant or a sewage treatment facility (usually after some form of pre-treatment).Agricultural wastewater treatment facilities and leachate treatment plants are two more types of wastewater treatment plants.

Phase separation (such as sedimentation), biological and chemical processes (such as oxidation), and polishing are all frequent procedures. A form of sludge is the most common by-product of wastewater treatment plants, which is normally treated in the same or another wastewater treatment facility. If anaerobic treatment procedures are applied, biogas can be produced as a by-product. Some wastewater can be processed thoroughly and repurposed as recovered water. The basic goal of wastewater treatment is to ensure that treated wastewater can be safely disposed of or reused. However, before it is treated, the alternatives for disposal or reuse must be examined so that the wastewater is handled properly.

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