Basic Water Treatment - third edition

By C. Binnie, M. Kimber & G. Smethurst. Published by Thomas Telford, 1 Heron Quay, London, E14 4JD, UK: 2002: ISBN 0-7277-3032-0: 215 136mm: ix + 291pp: Softback: 25.00.

First published in 1979, this basic introduction to water treatment systems has proved its value. The first two editions were written by George Smethurst based on his extensive international experience. Joined by two new authors for this new edition, the book has been extensively updated and revised to take account of current water quality standards and modern technologies, particularly those used in Western Europe and the USA.

The book is structured to take the reader through the treatment design process from the point of view of a practicing engineer. The scene is set by an introduction to water quality covering issues such as dissolved minerals, the effects of algae, pollutants and microbacteria, followed by an overview of water treatment processes. Successive chapters provide more detail on each stage of the process from primary treatment to disposal problems of the water treatment sludges. The subject is given a far more detailed coverage than the title implies. If for example, you want to know how to calculate theoretical settlement times in horizontal flow or the components of a typical gas chlorination system, or the chemical formulae for coagulants this book can help. A few example calculations have also been included to give confidence that your calculations are correct.

The book is written in a clear style and has many good quality line drawings that aid understanding. There is a glossary of terms, a reference list for each chapter and an index that is sufficiently detailed to be useful.

The authors concentrate on treatment systems for public water supplies and I was disappointed to find that small-scale private water supplies are not specifically covered. There are many such supplies in the UK with the quality aspects regulated by the local authorities. A very large number suffer from water quality problems, some with serious health implications. Although the treatment principles are the same it is not always obvious to the non-expert how to adjust for scale. I am sure that hard-pressed environmental health officers would welcome advice made available in a similar level of detail given in this book.

This book has been written as an introduction to the subject that will be useful to students and practitioners. The authors have been successful in this aim and I am sure that students will find it a valuable reference in their studies and that professional engineers will finds it useful to dip into to refresh their memories from time to time.

This review appeared in the Journal of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management 2003, Volume 17, No 3, pages 197-198.

Copyright © CIWEM 2003

Eur Geol Eur Ing Professor F.C. Brassington BSc MSc CGeol FGS CEng MICE FCIWEM