, Volume 81, Issue 4, pp 729–729 | Cite as

Amy J. Forsgren (Ed): Wastewater Treatment: Occurrence and Fate of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)

Book Review
This book is very much a “curate’s egg” with some of it very good and other parts less so. Responsibility for the weaker parts must rest with the editor who has allowed, for example, no less than five chapters to contain a table of the 16 EPA priority pollutants and two chapters giving the structures of the main polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Appendices could have been included listing both sets of information. A trivial, but relevant, point is the inconsistent spelling of “naphthalene” sometimes correctly and sometimes spelt “napthalene”. Chapter 3 is by Polish authors and a third of the references at the end of the chapter are in Polish. I don’t think it would be chauvinistic to believe that few potential readers are likely to follow up these references. The poor English in this chapter makes for difficult reading and comprehension.

Even these early chapters contain some useful information. Chapter 3 points out that environmental degradation of polycyclic hydrocarbons may result in nitro derivatives that are more carcinogenic than the parent compounds and the next chapter emphasises the importance of wastewater treatment and water reuse because of the scarcity of water in North Africa. It also points out that salinity and the presence of nitrates in the drinking water are also problems—problems not unknown in parts of the UK. This chapter also ends with a “Conclusions” paragraph which gives a useful summary of its contents. Chapters 5 and 6 have essentially the same titles and topics, one concerned with Italy and the other Greece. They deal with the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in wastewater treatment plants. Table 5.2 lists the surprisingly large number of VOCs that may arise from wastewater admittedly at ppb levels and similar information is given in Table 6.3. Chapter 7 deals with the removal of PAHs in treatment plants and Chapter 8 deals with the behaviour of such plants under different weather conditions. The next chapter marks a departure from the rest in that it gives an excellent account of the range of analytical techniques that can be and are used for the determination of PAHs. The book ends with an account of PAHs in sewage sludge, soils and sediments.

Water is the most important component for both life and for industry without which neither is viable; it requires 75,000 gallons of water to produce a ton of steel. As the world population increases, water resources are becoming more and more important and are often a source of friction between neighbouring countries. This book covers a wider range of subjects than implied by its title and in spite of my criticisms should be read by all those in the water industry involved in treatment, recovery and disposal.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BurtonUK

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