It includes physical, biological, and sometimes chemical processes to remove pollutants. Its aim is to produce environmentally safe sewage water, called eﬄuent, and a solid waste called sludge or biosolids, suitable for disposal or reuse. Reuse is often for agricultural purposes, but more recently, sludge is being used as a fuel source.
Water from the mains, used by manufacturing, farming, houses (toilets, baths, showers, kitchens, sinks), hospitals, commercial and industrial sites, is reduced in quality as a result of the introduction of contaminating constituents. Organic wastes, suspended solids, bacteria, nitrates, and phosphates are pollutants that must be removed.