I always wanted to walk into a cocktail party and nonchalantly toss off the phrase “I have a book deal” or “Excuse me. I have to take this call. It’s my editor.” I drive a Volkswagen so status symbols normally have no appeal to me but the book deal thing has been my only secret longing (since appearing on the Johny Carson show is no longer possible).
I enjoy writing and I especially enjoy writing technical material. About four months ago an article in the AWWA journal appeared calling on those who feel the calling to write a technical book to contact the association. Since the day I entered the universe of water I have been surprised at the lack of a single text that explains how water quality instrumentation and that is geared toward the average industry worker can understand. So I called Dave Plank at AWWA and I told him I have a book idea. To my shock AWWA was interested. Like all publishers he wanted to see a sample chapter. That was easy. I recently wrote a white paper on ORP sensors because I felt that this simple, inexpensive probe was unjustly overlooked as a mainstay in the water instrumentation tool box. I had my chapter. Two weeks later Dave asked for me an outline of the book and I spent the next couple weeks making one up.
About one month later I had my longed-for book deal. I have no title for the book but I have the mission for it. I firmly believe that, if you have a fundamental understanding of how a probe or a controller works, then you only need to look at the manual to figure out the color coding of the wires. It’s true for the entertainment system (“stereo” is so yesterday) you set up in your living room or man cave. My book will cover mostly electrochemical sensors—pH, ORP, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, chlorine and ion selective electrodes. I will discuss upon light based sensors such as turbidimeters, suspended solids, dissolved oxygen, (luminescent) and spectrometers.
Here’s where you may come in. I know instrumentation but I have never worked in a water treatment facility nor I have ever put together a control panel. If you have suggestions on what you think should be included I would love to hear it. If you have material on how sensors work in real world applications I’d like to talk to you about including it. So drop me a note and help make this a must-read book for anyone who works with water quality instrumentation.