The first edition of this book was published in 2008 and it went on to become IWA Publishing’s bestseller. Clearly there was a need for it because over the twenty years prior to 2008, the knowledge and understanding of wastewater treatment had advanced extensively and moved away from empirically-based approaches to a fundamental first-principles approach based on chemistry, microbiology, physical and bioprocess engineering, mathematics and modelling. However the quantity, complexity and diversity of these new developments was overwhelming for young water professionals, particularly in developing countries without readily available access to advanced-level tertiary education courses in wastewater treatment. For a whole new generation of young scientists and engineers entering the wastewater treatment profession, this book assembled and integrated the postgraduate course material of a dozen or so professors from research groups around the world who have made significant contributions to the advances in wastewater treatment. This material had matured to the degree that it had been codified into mathematical models for simulation with computers. The first edition of the book offered, that upon completion of an in-depth study of its contents, the modern approach of modelling and simulation in wastewater treatment plant design and operation could be embraced with deeper insight, advanced knowledge and greater confidence, be it activated sludge, biological nitrogen and phosphorus removal, secondary settling tanks, or biofilm systems.
However, the advances and developments in wastewater treatment have accelerated over the past 12 years since publication of the first edition. While all the chapters of the first edition have been updated to accommodate these advances and developments, some, such as granular sludge, membrane bioreactors, sulphur conversion-based bioprocesses and biofilm reactors which were new in 2008, have matured into new industry approaches and are also now included in this second edition. The target readership of this second edition remains the young water professionals, who will still be active in the field of protecting our precious water resources long after the aging professors who are leading some of these advances have retired. The authors, all still active in the field, are aware that cleaning dirty water has become more complex but that it is even more urgent now than 12 years ago, and offer this second edition to help the young water professionals engage with the scientific and bioprocess engineering principles of wastewater treatment science and technology with deeper insight, advanced knowledge and greater confidence built on stronger competence.