I can remember asking myself this question many years ago at my first environmental laboratory job. I was manually shaking out separatory funnels for EPA 625 and 608 and each sample looked drastically different from the next as I was pouring them into each separatory funnel. At the time, I thought the term wastewater meant anything that came from a sewer pipe and that it mainly consisted of human waste. When I looked deeper into the possible sample categories for these methods, I was very surprised by the different sample types required to be tested as wastewater. With that, it prompted me to ask myself well where does it come from?
If you live in an urban area or city, then you may be familiar with paying a water bill for the water you utilize in your home. For the most part, this water bill covers the cost of water testing, treatment, and transportation from your regional water facility to your home. When you look at the life cycle of your tap water, the journey it takes to make it to your home is quite amazing.