September 2008, Vol. 20, No.9

Water Volumes

Wastewater Pathogens

Michael H. Gerardi and Mel C. Zimmerman (2005). John Wiley & Sons Inc., 111 River St., Hoboken, N.J. 07030, 179 pp., $64.95, soft cover, ISBN: 0-471-20692-X.

Pathogens commonly found in wastewater — including viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, helminthes (worms), allergens, and toxins — present health concerns to wastewater personnel due to frequent exposure. This practical book provides the reader with a comprehensive, microbiological review of significant pathogenic groups of organisms. It also covers specific pathogens of concern in wastewater and solids, including human immunodeficiency virus, West Nile virus, the hepatitis virus group, the bacterium Leptospira, and the protozoa Cryptosporidium and Giardia.

The book explores associated health hazards, disease transmission and immune-system defenses, pathogen inactivation and destruction, and appropriate protective measures, equipment, and immunizations to aid in the fight against infection and disease. It is best suited as a guide for wastewater personnel (such as treatment plant operators, collection system maintenance personnel, and solids disposal personnel) who are frequently exposed to wastewater, solids, aerosols, and compost. This target audience will benefit from a comprehensive look at common wastewater pathogens with which they are regularly in contact, as well as information on protective and deactivation measures that can be employed.

The book also would be a valuable desk reference for private consulting engineers and scientists who work on municipal wastewater projects. Considering the comprehensiveness and digestibility of this book, it also is well-suited for the academic world as a possible supplement for a wastewater treatment process or wastewater microbiology course.

Jerel J. Bogdan is an engineer in the Orchard Park, N.Y., office of Malcolm Pirnie Inc. (White Plains, N.Y.).