May 2008, Vol. 20, No.5

Water Volumes

Wastewater Pathogens

Michael H. Gerardi and Mel C. Zimmerman (2005). John Wiley & Sons Inc., 111 River St., Hoboken, NJ 07030, softcover, 179 pp., $59.95, ISBN: 0-471-20692-X.

Jerel Bogdan

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 book is a practical guide that gives readers a comprehensive microbiological review of significant pathogenic groups of organisms. The book covers specific pathogens of concern, such as human immunodeficiency virus, West Nile virus, the hepatitis virus group, Leptospira, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia. The book also 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.

This book is best suited as a desk reference for wastewater treatment plant operators, collection system maintenance personnel, and solids-disposal personnel who are more frequently exposed to wastewater, biosolids, aerosols, and compost. This targeted audience will be able to gain a comprehensive look at common wastewater pathogens with which they are commonly in contact, as well as information on appropriate protective and deactivation measures.

This book is not overly technical; instead, it presents itself as a digestible source of information suitable for the library of nearly any wastewater professional. It also would be a valuable reference for private consultants, engineers, and scientists who typically are involved with municipal wastewater projects. Considering the comprehensiveness and accessibility 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 Bogdan is in the Orchard Park, N.Y., office of Malcolm Pirnie Inc. (White Plains, N.Y.).

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