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This is an Open Access book chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits copying and redistribution for non-commercial purposes with no derivatives, provided the original work is properly cited (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). This does not affect the rights licensed or assigned from any third party in this book. The chapter is from the book Assessment of Treatment Plant Performance and Water Quality Data: A Guide for Students, Researchers and Practitioners, Marcos von Sperling, Matthew E. Verbyla and Sílvia M. A. C. Oliveira (Authors).

This chapter highlights the importance of the concept of water and mass balances, which are key elements for understanding the behaviour of a treatment plant. The concepts of steady state and dynamic state, which influence the structuring of mass balances and the interpretation of data, will be presented. From this chapter, you are expected to be able to construct simple water and mass balances around a treatment unit.

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