A reporter ""with a deep interest in conservation,"" Frank Graham has written a down-to-case history of the appropriation of our waterways for disposal of wastes and the other manners in which the nation's rivers and streams are being despoiled. His book takes the tone not of expose but of reportage as he reviews the case of the three slaughter-houses pouring paunch manure into the Missouri, poisonous Arthur Kill flowing into Raritan Bay, where contaminated shellfish effected a hepatitis epidemic, the five million fish dead in Louisiana from difficult to trace Endrin, The Great Lakes where Lake Erie lies ""dying"" of an influx of natural and manmade pollutants, etc. Pollutants include oil, detergents, the wastes from strip mining. The author considers that local government and industrial leaders view our rivers primarily as sewers, follows the Public Health Service in its struggle to pinpoint causes of pollution. He quotes the Assistant Secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare to the effect that the era of laissez-faire in disposing of industrial wastes is coming to an end. His book closes with a hopeful look at prevention if not cure and an appendix provides a summary of federal water pollution control legislation. This is a solid view of our liquid state. The author himself has said, ""There is no sales appeal in sewers,"" however, and whether this will apply to a book about them is open to question, although libraries will be interested.