Processed water

Access to clean drinking water and sanitation is acknowledged by the United Nations as a human right. Water-borne diseases are still prevalent around the world causing harm from inadequate public sanitation systems or improper wastewater treatment. Improving sanitation is known to have a significant beneficial impact on health, in both households and across communities.

Treatment processes are embedded in the journey water takes from the environment to the consumer and back to the environment again. They involve the removal or reduction of existing contaminants to ensure the water is fit for use and also include the collection of all used water, ‘wastewater’ which is then treated so that it may be safely returned to the environment. Some wastewater systems also carry surface water back to rivers or to treatment plants.

CIWEM’s work in this area covers all aspects of the treatment of water for drinking and other uses, and the sustainable management and treatment of wastewater and its by-products.


Technical Panels working in relation to processed water are:

Water Supply & Quality Panel Wastewater and Biosolids Panel


Read our in-depth reports on processed water:

treatmentplant A Blueprint for carbon emissions reductions in the water industry watering plants - Copy Water Efficiency, helping customers to use less water in their homes



Policy Position Statements are available on the following related subjects:

Water distribution network leakage in the UK Lead in drinking water
Aesthetic drinking water quality Water quality implications of transferring treated water supplies
Disinfection of water supplies Chlorine disinfection of water supplies in the UK
Wastewater biosolids – treatment and use Pharmaceuticals and other trace organic micropollutants in water
Fluoridation of public water supplies Bottled Drinking Water
Monitoring the quality of private water supplies Water supply pipes
Ultraviolet (UV) disinfection of drinking water supplies Water quality issues for household water reuse
Sustainable Water Permitting Water reuse for people and the environment
Data quality for water management Environmental impacts of combined sewer overflows
Phosphorus Misconnections