The discharge of untreated or partially treated wastewater into the environment results in the pollution of surface water, soil and groundwater. The effects of releasing untreated or inadequately treated wastewater can be classified into three groups:
- adverse human health effects associated with reduced water quality;
- negative environmental effects due to the degradation of water bodies and ecosystems;
- potential effects on economic activities: as the availability of freshwater is critical to sustaining the economic welfare of any human community, poor water quality constitutes an additional obstacle to economic development.