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Aeration has recently been employed as a method for removing trace organic contaminants, such as trichloroethylene, from drinking water supplies. Preliminary applications of the air stripping process suggest that it may be a more economical method than removal via granular activated carbon or adsorbent resins. A procedure has been developed for the process design of air stripping in packed towers, which follows Henry's law at low concentrations. The design methodology provides an analytical method for estimating the relative cost of air stripping for the removal of volatile organic compounds as well as a quantitative framework for design and evaluation of pilot plant studies. Various aeration methods are diffused aeration, coke tray aerator, countercurrent packed towers, and cross-flow towers. Also covered are liquid versus gas-controlled mass transfer, development of removal efficiency equation, height of transfer unit, air-to-water ratio, and pressure drop. Includes 19 references, tables, figures.