August 2012, Vol. 24, No.8

Water Volumes

Fundamentals of Water Treatment Unit Processes: Physical, Chemical, and Biological

David Hendricks (2011). CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group LLC, 6000 Broken Sound Parkway NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL, 33487, 600 pp., $119.95, hardcover, ISBN: 978-1-4200-6191-8.

This is a condensed version of the 2006 book Water Treatment Unit Processes: Physical and Chemical (also published by CRC Press) that has been reworked as a textbook for a course on water treatment for first-year graduate students or seniors. The preface clearly states that the 2006 book is more comprehensive and includes additional theory and examples of practice. This is correct, although the completeness of this restyled book is still impressive. It covers four parts of the 2006 book.

The book begins with the “foundation,” explaining the fundamental basis needed to understand water treatment processes — treatment trains and the range of contaminants in water — as well as the mathematics of reactors, kinetic modeling, and much more. The next three parts discuss treatment methods. They cover primary treatment methods — particulate separation, such as screening, sedimentation, grit chambers, and flotation; removal of microscopic particles using coagulation–flocculation, sand filtration, and cake filtration; and advanced processes, under the umbrella of “molecules and ions” — adsorption, ion exchange, and membranes, as well as gas transfer, oxidation, and disinfection. In addition, two chapters cover biological treatment processes.

All of this is explained clearly for anyone with a bachelor’s degree background, but the more advanced reader who needs a thorough update on one or more of these aspects also will enjoy this book. Each chapter contains a glossary, which should solve any difficulty in terminology, and a series of “problems,” which are hints to verify whether the reader has clearly understood the chapter. These problems can be suggestions, examples, direct questions, or calculations. The latter are elaborated upon or explained.

Extensive appendices make the book complete. They include unit conversions, all the mathematics a reader could need, fluid mechanics, hydraulics, dimensionless numbers, and dissolution of gases — everything is there. This book is a complete guide to water treatment processes. Enjoy it to learn, but keep it as a reference. This is the kind of book that you would reach for over and over again.


Bart Van der Bruggen is a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Leuven, Belgium. 


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