Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Water that has been used, as for washing, flushing, or in a manufacturing process, and so contains waste products; sewage.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any water that has been used by some human domestic or industrial activity and, because of that, now contains waste products.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. water mixed with waste matter

Etymologies

waste +‎ water (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • Those sly wastrels.

    March 29, 2009

  • "This morning as I was cycling with my son along the towpath, I noticed a poster nailed to a tree. The poster was a Resource Consent Application notification. The application was to allow the city council to continue dumping 'groundwater, wastewater and stormwater' into the Avon and Heathcote rivers (the two rivers than run through Christchurch city) for the next 25 years.
    Well, I know about groundwater and stormwater -- fair enough. But what about wastewater? Surely this wasn't some sort of euphemism for sewage?
    I phoned the council.

    Me: So what exactly do you mean when you say wastewater?
    Helpful Council Person: (Proceeds to read out a list of possible constituent chemicals and their average percentages).
    Me: So when I flush the toilet, does that end up as wastewater?
    Helpful Council Person: Er... yes.
    Me: And is it treated in any way?
    Helpful Council Person: Er... no.
    Me: So the council are seeking a resource consent to dump raw sewage in the Avon River?
    Helpful Council Person: Yes -- but only for the next 25 years."
    - David Haywood, Can We Dump Raw Shit Into Your River for the Next 25 Years?, publicaddress.net, 27 March 2009.

    March 29, 2009