This is a pessimistic book, but the pessimism relates to a condition we cannot ignore. Groundwater pollution, now a nationwide problem, affects perhaps 30 percent of the population. King details the various sources of contamination, from pesticides to military wastes to industrial pollutants. Even plastic pipes and chlorine in the water are contributors. King shows how lax regulatory agencies, like the EPA, do little to slow the spread. He estimates cleanup costs to be in the billions, but sees little official enthusiasm for the job. Sprinkled throughout this fact-filled work are personal stories of hardship and some practical advice to the average citizen. King discusses how to sue polluters, albeit with difficulty, and how to press for enforcement. A worthwhile book for general and academic collections. Daniel La Rossa, Connetquot P.L., Bohemia, N.Y.