Biological wastewater treatment is a key topic worldwide, and an understanding of the basics is important not only for civil engineers: Many different engineering students in the fields of online measurements and automatization, machineries and constructions, and also chemical and process engineers are required to read this book.
Wiesmann and colleagues start their lectures with the history of wastewater collection and treatment. They show thewastewater management of a monastery with the different uses of water for irrigation, fish ponds, etc., depending on the wastewater quality, as an example for actual projects in the fields of hotel management or of water management in small villages.
Chapter 2 briefly summarizes the wastewater characterizations and the regulations in Germany and the European Community. The authors give an overviewon the pollutants and show the input values for several days, throughout the 24 h. The topic of heavy metals has been given only very small room, and the example of oil-in-water emulsions by dodecane droplets is inappropriate. However, chapter 3 is even more out of place, as the microbial metabolism of eubacteria is more or less irrelevant for the biological degradation process in wastewater treatment plants. In addition, the details of protein structure and the basics of amino acid biochemistry belong into a book for microbiologists and not for engineers expected to design wastewater treatment plants.
Chapters 4–11 contain all the mathematics developed until to now to describe the modeling of wastewater treatment plants (from the stoichiometric equations via the gas-liquid transfer of oxygen up to the modeling of activated sludge processes, hundreds of equations are given). Besides, the authors describe in detail the aerobic and anaerobic carbon degradation as well as the biological nutrient removal. The newer field of biomembrane systems is treated in a separate chapter (chapter 12).
The book closes with a chapter on integrated water management and decentralized effluent treatment, with the attempt to close the circle from the beginning with old knowledge on optimized water usage.
The content of this book is very helpful for all readers who have to design wastewater treatment plants by using the wastewater models that are currently on the market, as it provides an understanding of the relations of the mass transfer behind the equations and the ways in which they are combined. Numerous figures help to explain wastewater treatment. The book is highly sophisticated (in some parts with many details originating from the research projects of the authors). For a next edition, it would be helpful if the authors gave some details with regard to the measurement of the parameters used in the equations. Overall, the book is useful for engineers or students intending to mathematically design wastewater treatment plants.
Peter M. Kunz,
published in Clean 2007, 35 (4), 301.