Standard Article

Wastewater Reclamation and Reuse

Waste Water Treatment

  1. Rasheed Ahmad

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.ww301

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Ahmad, R. 2005. Wastewater Reclamation and Reuse. Water Encyclopedia. 1:825–826.

Author Information

  1. Khafra Engineering Consultants, Lilburn, Georgia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


Because of growing population and increasing urbanization, many communities throughout the world are approaching or reaching the limits of their available water supplies. Wastewater reclamation and reuse has become an attractive option for conserving and extending available water supplies. Wastewater reclamation and reuse may also present communities an opportunity for pollution abatement when it replaces effluent discharge to sensitive surface waters.

The terminology currently used in wastewater reuse engineering is derived from sanitary and environmental engineering practice. The water potentially available for reuse includes municipal and industrial wastewater, agricultural return flows, and storm water. Of these, return flows from agriculture irrigation and storm water are usually collected and reused without further treatment. Wastewater reclamation involves treating or processing wastewater to make it reusable, and wastewater reuse or water reuse is the beneficial use of the treated water. Reclamation and reuse of water frequently require water conveyance facilities for delivering the reclaimed water and may require intermittent storage of the reclaimed water prior to reuse. In contrast to reuse, wastewater recycling or water recycling normally involves only one use or user, and the effluent from the user is captured and redirected back into that use scheme. In this context, the term wastewater recycling is applied predominantly to industrial applications such as in the steam—electric, manufacturing, and mineral industries.


  • wastewater;
  • reclamation;
  • reuse;
  • recycle;
  • potable water reuse;
  • nonpotable water reuse;
  • indirect use;
  • direct use